No money for constituency development: Boois

13 Apr 2016 08:40am
BERSEBA, 13 APR (NAMPA) – Berseba Constituency regional councillor Dawid Boois has voiced his frustration at the lack of funds available both nationally and regionally for development in constituencies.
The parliamentarian said he looked forward to the realisation of the proposed Constituency Development Fund Bill which is aimed at dispensing national funds directly to constituencies for developmental projects.
Once enacted, the Bill will fast-track developmental activities at constituency level and address the issue of some constituencies reportedly being marginalised in terms of the funding of projects.
During an interview with Nampa after the opening of Constituency Week in Berseba on Monday, Boois further accused the //Kharas Regional Council of blocking developmental efforts in the region.
“When constituencies beg for money from them for poverty reduction initiatives in communities, they never have an answer. They claim there is no money, but each year they return millions in unused funds to the Treasury.”
Boois said N.dollars 5 million was returned this year and N.dollars 7 million the previous year.
Noting his concern at the poor attendance of the Constituency Week event, Boois said the regional community and regional leadership were bound to own the constituency project – meant to “bring the elected closer to those who voted for them”.
The initiative is executed countrywide this week by the Namibia Institute for Democracy (NID), the National Council (NC) and the Namibia Institute for Public Administration and Management (NIPAM).
Boois said there was truth in accusations that politicians make empty promises to people before elections, only to be unable to deliver afterwards due to empty constituency pockets.
During his speech, regional councillor for Karasburg West Dennis Coetzee concurred with Boois, calling on public officials to deliver much-needed services to citizens.
“Implementers should hear the plight of our people, because the politicians can make promises, but they are not the implementers. The politicians solely depend on the diligence of the implementers of our administrative arm,” Coetzee said.
The event was attended by about 100 regional politicians and officials from the public service and members of the community.
Boois was unhappy about the low turnout, citing the importance and value of the event.
A scheduled training by NID for Constituency Development Committee (CDC) members had to be deferred as only three members out of an expected 70 pitched.
In a speech read on her behalf, NC chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams said the objective of Constituency Week was to support bottom-up decentralisation by strengthening the interaction between communities and local and regional authorities through development committees.
She admitted that the committees need support to participate in development and urged local authorities to keep fighting for development of their respective regions.
“It is not easy, but nothing good in life comes easily,” she said.