Social auditing key in enhancing accountability in managing projects under CDF.
Written by Saka Richard
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A group of forty participants drawn from Saboti and the newly created Kiminini constituency have been trained on social auditing an idea where the locals are empowered to be the community’s watchdog on projects funded by constituency development fund (CDF) and local authority transfer fund (LATF).
Under the Catholic Peace and Justice Commission(CPJC),Kitale Chapter the participants mainly youth with each location in the two constituencies which make up the two divisions in Trans Nzoia West District, were taught on how to audit projects in their areas of jurisdictions complete with a practical tour of some of the projects with the organizers.
Going by the theme, social auditing-how to improve public fund the group were given first hand information on book keeping, project management and assessment and conducting of research among other topics that are key in the disbursement of their duties.
Closing the seminar, the CPJC coordinator Immaculate Shamala called upon the participants to be their communities’ ambassadors as they were their only hope in ensuring that CDF and LATF project managers were put on toes to explain on how each and every shilling was used on the projects they were undertaking.
Shamala also noted that the group will encounter challenges in disbursements of their duties especially corruption but urged them to put their communities welfare as top priority before anything else.
It is here that it was noted that politicians and especially sitting members of parliament were purporting that projects undertaken through CDF were their own initiative, thus swindling the public that they were using their own money for the benefit of the community whereas in really sense it was our tax that is being used to build the named projects.
“A politician came and bragged to us in Kiminini on how he had brought water to us and that he cared for our needs amid much jubilation from the locals only to come to learn that the project was undertaken by the government through the ministry of water,” one of the participants noted during the meeting.
The public was also advised to be vigilant with the projects being undertaken in the areas as it was noted during the case study that most of the locals were not consulted during the earmarking of projects in some places whereas in others the locals never participated even after being called upon with Saboti being the notorious on this.
To minimize the challenges, the local administration was called upon to give support to the social auditors and advocate for it in different barazas they hold as it is anew phenomena among the locals who have been washed that anything being built is an MPs project a notion that needs to be changed from the locals as they are being urged to embrace communal ownership of projects.
Also present were members of saboti CDF committee led by the secretary Dr. Chrisantus Wanyama who applauded the move saying that the move will ensure equitable distribution of the fund and accountability on the project managers.