MPs under scrutiny over CDF 

Source: MPs under scrutiny over CDF – DailyNews Live

Blessings Mashaya      11 May 2018

HARARE – Parliament has embarked on an audit into the usage of the
Constituency Development Fund (CDF) accessed by Member of Parliament to
develop their respective constituencies.

Acting Speaker of the National Assembly Reuben Marumahoko said no new
applications for fresh disbursements would be considered until the
exercise has been completed before the end of July.

“The CDF committee is only finalising on those applications submitted on
or before the 31st of March, 2018. This is to enable all Hon Members to
account for monies allocated for their constituencies before the
dissolution of the Eighth Parliament,” he said.

To date, the CDF committee has verified projects in two provinces, namely
Masvingo and Mashonaland East.

“All members are advised to comply with Article 5.2.4 of the Accounting
Officer’s Instructions, which provides for submission of returns monthly
for CDF and avail all necessary documentation to the CDF Management
Committee as it visits your respective constituencies.

“For those provinces already visited, please submit your returns as well
as your progress reports before close of business on the 31st of May,
2018,” said Marumahoko.

“This does not preclude those not yet visited but have already finalised
projects or have their documentation and reports ready to submit the same
to the secretariat.

“In the event that you are not available in the constituency, please make
sure that someone knowledgeable about the CDF projects is present to
assist the verification team. I therefore, urge you all to cooperate with
the CDF Management Committee in this important and noble exercise.”

The fund was first introduced by former Finance minister Tendai Biti in

A year after it was unveiled, it collapsed due to budgetary constraints
and the absence of a legal framework to govern it.

At the time, a number of MPs were accused of dipping their fingers into
the fund, with many of the lawmakers failing the transparency and
accountability test.

About four legislators were arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption
Commission, and appeared in court facing charges of abusing the fund.

The cases later fizzled out because there was no proper legal framework to
successfully prosecute the culprits.