The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) was established by the Constituency Development Fund Act 2003 whose primary objective was alleviating poverty at the grassroots level by allocating 2.5% of the government revenue towards the fund. The CDF Act 2003 was repealed in January 2013 to ensure that it aligns with the new constitutional framework. However, civil society groups such as the Institute for Social Accountability, the Centre for Democracy and Good Governance and the devolution forum were of the opinion that the Act still fail to satisfy the critical constitutional provisions of separation of powers, participation and accountability. It is for this reason that the these civil society organizations successfully went to court to seek the nullification of the CDF Act 2013. In the ruling, the invalidity of the Act was suspended for a period of 12 months to allow parliament to re-align the Act to the constitution.
With only 8 months left until the invalidity takes effect, the Institute for Social Accountability, the Centre for Democracy and Good Governance as well as members of the Devolution Forum came up with robust proposals and An New CDF 2015 Bill for consideration by the public and the National Assembly. The public forum was a platform through which the public and civil society could learn about the court ruling and its implications as well as review the proposed framework.
CEDGG and TISA lodge an official complaint against the CDF board on their conduct during the public hearings. It was brought to the attention of TISA and CEDGG that the board was using inflammatory remarks during the public forums during which they were supposed to be collecting views of the people. Further, the public forum amounted to a referendum campaign for the continuance of the fund. The Commission welcomed our complaint and assured the people that they would give feedback to the issues presented as soon as possible. On the 18th of June, the commission wrote to the Board to invite their response in light of the issues raised.
For the documents involved in CEDGG and TISAs complaint against the CDF Board, follow the link below