DCDR called to explain GEWE expenses

An unimpressed permanent Parliamentary Committee for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and Gender Based Violence, have called out the Department of Community Development and Religion for the K7.93 million that was allocated last year.

The Committee Chairman Powes Parkop, and his deputy Allan Bird, responded to the presentation given by the department.

Parkop said, “From yesterday’s presentation especially from the Department of Community Development who has oversight and courage over affairs and responsibility dealing with children, people with disability, with youth, women and religion one has to be very concerned about the plight of our people especially for women and girls. We are relying on a department with a huge responsibility that has no capacity and shown incapability to deliver outcomes that we expect from that department.”

His deputy also queried the spending.

“So you received K7.9 million, according to your report you spent close to K700,000 on air travel, K450, 000 on again domestic travel and accommodation, another K300, 000 on accommodation, K1.17 million on hire cars. The Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee got K420, 000. You had a contingency K777, 000; I assume you spent that and you had a miscellaneous of K200, 000. Now you gave two million to the UNDP Program. I assume it’s a counterpart funding for small grants to some of our CSOs. Out of the 7. 9million only K2million went to those who were helping the victims,” Bird queried.

Department Acting Secretary, Jerry Ubase, outlined how much they spent and what they spent it on. This included 100 thousand to 300 thousand to Civil Society groups.

“Firstly for the K2million we didn’t have the capacity at that time. We had only two officers so I spoke to UNDP because they have a better system for acquittals and so they assisted us in terms of dispersing the grants and provided a report. Thirteen organizations were helped and we distributed between the range of K100, 000 – K300, 000 to CSOs in the country,” he said.

“For the K427, 000 - we assisted FSVAC now CIMC. Their tenure came to an end because they had no funding for the operation. For the domestic and travel allowance, we had overseas travels within the Pacific as well as International flights but this are all GBV related workshops. Also, we assisted or counter funded with UNDP in terms of women in leadership. In terms of vehicle hire, we meet those costs on behalf of the government. For the contingency, sometimes we deal with counterparts at sub-national levels. We are caught off-guard with the service providers. When we go, they don’t want cheque but cash. This is in regards to hosting workshops in provinces and the singsing groups and catering,” the Acting Secretary explained.

And whether or not funding reached survivors of GBV and SARV, Ubase said most of the travels and funds were to upskill the department and build good policies to help those women and girls in the country.