Residents to supplement constituency funds

Source: Residents to supplement constituency funds | The Herald 28 DEC, 2019

Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent

Residents of Mount Pleasant have resolved to supplement the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) through income-generating projects to raise additional funds to repair roads, collect garbage and fix broken down equipment.

This emerged during a recent meeting where residents said the CDF, which is given to legislators to develop their constituencies, was not enough. Presently, MPs are receiving $175 000 as CDF.

National Assembly representative for Mount Pleasant Mr Samuel Banda was happy that residents were willing to assist in developing their constituency. “We resolved to repair a market shelter at Groombridge, which had collapsed, as well as a non-working pump at MacDonald Swimming Pool in Avondale and to commence a piggery project just outside Harare,” he said.

“The proceeds from the piggery project will be used to augment the limited CDF funds so that we can undertake genuine developmental projects such as road repairs, and introduction of recycling bins, among other things.

“In early 2020, we will sit down again to consider other worthwhile projects, the only big hindrance being that CDF funds are not enough to undertake meaningful ventures. MPs in Kenya get more than US$1 million to implement projects of their choice as compared to Zimbabwean MPs who get the equivalent of US$10 600.

“An MP’s role is reduced to parliamentary oversight responsibilities, law making and representation of issues raised by constituencies. The net effect is trivialising the legislator’s  role.

“The Finance Ministry must review the 2020 Budget so that the effectiveness of MPs is enhanced. Otherwise most will not make it in 2023, not because they will have failed, but because the CDF funds are not enough to support MPs’ initiatives,” he said.