By SIMON MUNTEMBA
MY eyes are open and I am watching how the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for 2022 will be utilised to ensure the funds are not abused, President Hakainde Hichilema has warned.
And President Hichilema has implored Minister of Lands Elijah Muchima and Minister of Green Economy Collins Nzovu to be active and ensure water generating bodies were not encroached.
Mr Hichilema said his administration will not allow people to abuse the CDF which was meant to create opportunities and promote women’s empowerment.
He was speaking when he graced the 2022 International Women Days celebration in Lusaka yesterday,
The President said he was closely monitoring on how the 2022 CDF would be utilised and any abuse would attract stiffer consequences.
“I am watching. My eyes are open, government’s eyes are open and minister’s eyes are open, we want to quickly move in if there is abuse on these funds that do not achieve the intended purpose especially to support the women,” President Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema also said there was need to address the challenges that women and girls face due to the adverse effects of climate change.
He said government fully acknowledged the effects that climate change has had on the communities especially women and girls.
He said Government is determined to address these challenges by finding solutions to the increasing threats that women and the public were faced with.
As government, he said, we are determined to find solutions to these challenges. These threats have to be mitigated. We do not want these challenges to make the situation worse for our women. Mr Hichilema also urged ministers to be alert and ensure no water bodies were given to private individuals, especially to those in public offices.
He said, “Secretary to the Cabinet, ministers that are here, the permanent secretaries, I want to underscore one particular issue, in the last couple of years, a lot of land, which is our catchment area was given out, and given out mainly to those occupying public office at the expense of citizens. This must come to an end forthwith.”
United Nations Resident Coordinator Coumba Mar Gadio applauded the UPND-led Government for the bold decision to increase the CDF from K1.6 million to K25.7 million.
Dr. Gadio also commended Government for supporting national wide efforts to advance women inclusion in key positions which has been seen by various appointments made.
This year’s International Women’s Day was celebrated under the theme “Gendar equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”