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Rumphi MPs tussle over K4.4 million CDF

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Member of Parliament for Rumphi North Jappie Mhango and his Rumphi West counterpart Jacqueline Kouwenhoven are tussling over K4.4 million Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Kouwenhoven claims that the fund belonged to his constituency but Mhango used it for his constituency activities.

However, Mhango, who is also Minister of Information, has vowed not to refund the money and Rumphi District Council is helpless on the matter.

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Kouwenhoven said she was surprised that her last quarter of the CDF allocation was missing and when she asked Rumphi District Council she was told that the money was used to offset debts in Mhango’s constituency.

“I agreed with councillors to use the K6.2 million CDF allocation to repair five boreholes, finalise construction of Police Unit at Bolero, roofing of teachers houses and construction of a block at Bambe CDSS.

“However, we failed to access the whole amount as we only got K1.8 million. The Director of Finance told me that the other money has been used for Rumphi North developments. Currently, we have been told that our CDF will be replenished in the next quarter but we are not guaranteed that the minister will accept to give us our money,” said Kouwenhoven.

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She said the minister used the money to offset debts he inherited in his constituency.

Rumphi District Commissioner, Lusizi Nhlane, confirmed that the money was transferred to Mhango’s constituency because there were other pressing issues.

“It is true that the CDF that was meant for Rumphi West was used to pay debts for Rumphi North. However, it was not the minister’s influence but the court ordered the bank to transfer the money into the late MP’s account. By that time, our account had only CDF money for Rumphi West,” said Nhlane.

He said the recent full council meeting agreed that the next quarter of CDF funding for Rumphi North should be paid to Rumphi West constituency.

“However, that will depend on the agreement with MPs. As a district secretariat we do not know if the MP for Rumphi North will accept that his CDF should go to Rumphi West,” said Nhlane.

Mhango denied that his constituency used the CDF for Rumphi West.

“Therefore, I don’t expect that my CDF will go to Rumphi West. I can’t allow that. The money is for Rumphi North and not west,” said Mhango.

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