The Rundu Councillor in the Kavango East Region, Paulus Mbangu, has expressed concern about the delayed Regional and Constituency Fund Bill which he says has halted projects and the development of the constituency.
“We need the finalisation of the bill in order to carry out projects and develop our constituencies. The constituencies had drastic budget cuts last year which have left many of us operating with almost nothing in the coffers”, Mbangu explained.
Last year’s proposed budget allocation for the Kavango East Region is estimated to be around N$100 million, but it only received about N$60 million. This, according to Mbangu has hindered the progress of projects in the region.
He said he wants the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development as a custodian to accelerate the finalization of the budget fund so that it can be tabled in parliament.
He fears that if this is not done early, the region risks finding itself in a very negative predicament.
“Cabinet already approved the constituency development fund last year, but the minister is not tabling the new bill in parliament,” Mbangu said.
Subsequently, the Councillor noted that in order for the regional constituency budget to be in next year’s budget, it must be tabled in parliament now.
Furthermore, he highlighted that most of its budget initially goes to salaries and small projects, since they cannot afford capital projects.
In response, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni said “the regional and constituency fund bill is with drafters and only when they are done with it, will it be tabled in parliament for discussion”.