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‘Politically-inclined persons will derail CDF empowerment’

By SIMON MUNTEMBA

INVOLVEMENT of politically-inclined individuals in rolling out of the much-talked-about Constituency Development Fund (CDF) empowerment will not yield the intended results as there will be temptation to favour cooperatives with members from their political parties, the Network of Zambians in Informal Employment (NetZIE) has said.

NetZIE country coordinator, Danny Simumba said there was need to detach politically exposed persons from rolling out the Government’s enhanced CDF empowerment if it was to yield results.

In an interview, Mr Simumba said it was wrong for politicians to be in the forefront of championing the creation of cooperative enterprises for their cadres in their constituencies and wards respectively.

He said much as the decentralisation of development through CDF was a good move aimed at enabling the local people to come up with creative ventures, allowing politicians to hijack the programmes would kill the whole purpose of benefitting the community.

“The proliferation of politically exposed persons’ initiated cooperative enterprises following the new dawn administration’s enhanced CDF may not only disadvantage other business enterprises who are not aligned to the ruling party or opposition political parties with Members of Parliament and Councillors respectively, but also unsustainable in so far as creating employment opportunities for the youth is concerned,” Mr Simumba said.

Mr Simumba said once MPs and councillors were involved in empowering cooperatives in the areas, chances are high that they would favour their party members at the expense of others, leading to unfair competition among enterprises.

The nature of CDF is such that it is presided over by MPs and Councillors and as such there’s an irresistible temptation to favour cooperatives with members from their political parties.

In fact, he said, there is scanty information about the enhanced CDF amongst youths in most areas or constituencies visited on the Copperbelt who are not aligned to any political party.

Mr Simumba has however appealed to MPs and councillors to take a leadership role which would promote and encourage all enterprises within their constituencies to participate rather than taking a partisan approach even in their sensitisation activities. 

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