Kasungu District Council on Saturday approved its 2023-24 financial year budget with a warning that the K37.4 billion allocated funds must be used prudently for the benefit of the communities.
In his contribution after the presentation of the budget, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Madalitso Kazombo, who is also Member of Parliament for Kasungu East, said the district has a myriad of challenges like poor roads, incidents of famine and an overwhelmed healthcare system that can be fixed through prudent use of resources.
Said Kazombo: “Yes the budget has passed but that’s one thing. What is important is its implementation. We should desist from corruption and stealing poor people’s taxes. Let’s safeguard these resources so that they benefit the communities.
“Our wards in hospitals are congested such that three people share the same bed. Hail storms have destroyed many hectares of crops and we expect massive investment in irrigation farming to avert hunger. We need serious investment in livestock farming. And we need good roads, our own tippers and graders. So we have to safeguard these resources.”
District Commissioner (DC) for Kasungu James Kanyangalazi assured the gathering that the district will soon have its own grader and related road construction equipment which he said will help to improve the road network in the largely tobacco growing district.
Making his contribution, Senior Chief Lukwa also said the district will see more roads being constructed through the Roads Fund Administration resources.
According to Finance Committee Chairperson Charles Binya, the council intends to increase locally generated revenue by 19 percent from K90.6 million in the ending year to K121m in the 2023/24 financial year.
“The council will put in place interventions to enhance local revenue generation in order to improve public service delivery. For instance, we will intensify revenue campaigns and revise business license, market and service fees.
“We will also mainstream management supervision of markets and scale up production of vendor registers in markets and train more market committees so that we have realistic revenue targets,” said Binya.
Binya also emphasised the need to make the budget public to accord citizens an opportunity to follow and monitor implementation of projects by the council and ensure that minimum standards of the projects are enforced.
“Citizens should be able to understand how much money flows into their council as a whole and whether they are receiving value for it,” he said.
Apart from salaries, more resources have been allocated to the rehabilitation of health facilities including the 1967 district hospital which authorities say is failing to cope with the rising population now nearing a million.
Other big shares have gone to social cash transfers for vulnerable households, Climate Smart Public Works programme and Governance to Enable Service Delivery (Gesd).
Part of the approved K37.4 billion is the K900 million Constituency Development Fund for the district’s nice constituencies.