Blessings Mashaya 9 November 2017
HARARE – Female proportional representative MPs are demanding to be given
money from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which is allocated to
legislators to develop their constituencies by government.
This comes as Parliament recently released $5 million towards the Fund,
despite grave concerns about abuse of the money by some legislators.
The legislators raised the concern after opposition MDC vice president
Nelson Chamisa presented the CDF constitution in National Assembly last
MDC Matebeleland North proportional representative Lwazi Sibanda was the
first to raise the issue, saying they must have access to CDF.
“We are equally the same, hence we make the request that as women
representatives, we should be included in this budget so that we are able
to deal with the issues that affect women,” she argued.
“The majority of our population is made up of women. They are the
mainstay of the country. As female Members of Parliament, we should also
be able to access the CDF so that we are able to develop our country
because mothers are the mainstay of the country. All Members of
Parliament that are on Proportional Representation in the National
Assembly as well as in the Senate should be given a chance to access the
The propositional representatives, who have no constituencies, are chosen
by parties for the purpose of gender equality in the National Assembly.
MDC Bulawayo proportional representative Dorothy Molly Ndlovu weighed in:
“What we are saying is that we have bigger constituencies, when I say I am
a Member of Parliament for Bulawayo Metropolitan, I am invited by all
women in the metropolitan province and deal with their issues. So these
women are important and they should be seen accessing the CDF. We are
equally important, if not more than those that have constituencies.”
Bulawayo MDC proportional representative MP Thokozani Khupe added: “The
Member raised the point that there are women who sit in the Standing Rules
and Orders Committee, who should have raised this issue. In the Standing
Rules and Orders, it is clear that a Member of Parliament is a Member of
Parliament regardless of them being Proportional Representatives or
However, Parliament’s Legal and Procedural Affairs committee turned down
the proposal, saying CDF money is not for the benefit of the MP and
therefore, MPs who are not Constituency MPs are not prejudiced in any way.