President Kiir orders treasury to pay omitted CDF fund

By William Madouk

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has directed the minister of Finance and Planning to release funds for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that was mysteriously omitted from the national budget.

The bizarre deletion of CDF funds – that facilitate MPs to visit their constituencies led the mass protest among members who were urging the treasury docket to swiftly release funds for kitty.

Addressing the House during the reopening, yesterday president Mayardit said CDF funds have been withheld for a very long time, adding that the resources were meant to support projects and MPs to remain in touch with normal citizens at grassroot level.

“The CDF was created through the Act of Parliament to enable you, the MPs to directly fund projects identified by your constituents,” Mayardit said.

“It also intended to allow you, members of parliament to remained in touch with citizens at grassroot through projects initiated through CDF in supporting local initiatives,” he added.

He further asked the ministry of Finance to cooperate and release outstanding arrears owed to CDF funds.

“I am directing the ministry of Finance and Planning to work with you, the parliament where practicable to consider disbursing outstanding arrears owned to the CDF,” president directed.

However, the Head-of-state warned lawmakers against misappropriation of CDF funds “but there is problem some MPs will go and use CDF money to be their own money – the issue will still come to me and I will deal it.”

The CDF is also one of the requirements of the revitalized peace agreement in Article, which the government is supposed to implement, and it also appears in Annex 6 of the roadmap, which is pending.

If not released, the lack of budgetary allocation for CDF will affect especially the areas of service delivery such as primary health care, schools, clean drinking water, and bridges.

Among others services which can be felt by communities in their constituencies as services from the government to the people.

On October 2022, some MPs who protested, said the fund should be released to allow them to visit their constituencies and engage with community members and identify the needs of their communities.

MP Peter Lomude, the chairperson of the parliamentary constituency development fund committee, claimed that the ministry of finance had not yet released the allocation for 2021–2022, and that the committee had recommended that it should be paid.

He disclosed that the national fiscal budget has not included funding for CDF since 2010 through the most recent fiscal year.

According to Article 4 of the CDF Act of 2007, 3% of the total revenues must be distributed to the constituencies for development.

In the parliamentary budget report that the legislators have approved, CDF was given SSP8.6 billion in the fiscal year budget for 2021–2022, and the parliament has approved SSP24.9 billion, or three percent of the budget for 2022–2033, for CDF.

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