Seven MPs have reportedly failed to account for the first disbursement of the $50 000 they received under the 2010 Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Acting Secretary for Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Virginia Mabiza said the MPs had been given until July 31 to account for the funds or face unspecified action. She, however, declined to name the MPs in question.
“We carried out special audits acting on tip-offs and complaints we got so as to see the situation on the ground. We have audited 87 constituencies countrywide so far following reports of misappropriation of the funds,” Mabiza told NewsDay on the sidelines of a two-day capacity building and induction workshop on the CDF at the Masvingo Civic Centre.
“I cannot say the funds were used correctly in all constituencies. That is why we are sending auditors. There were some constituencies where we observed some irregularities and the responsible MPs are yet to respond.
“We will have conclusive reports to say that they have diverted the funds for their own use or not after the deadline we gave for them to respond to the allegations comes. So I cannot give you names right away.”
Asked what disciplinary measures would be taken against the MPs caught on the wrong side, Mabiza said it was the mandate of the Ministry of Finance to deal with them.
“We will forward our reports to the ministry of Finance, and it will deal with those found guilty. We are the administrators of the fund, but the Ministry of Finance is the ultimate custodian,” she said.
Speaking at the same workshop, the ministry’s deputy director for legal affairs Netsai Zvakasikwa urged MPs to have tangible projects which would have a long-lasting impact in their constituencies.
Zanu PF MP for Chivi North Tranos Huruva said: “The money is too little, it is not enough, it will get finished if you build one or two blocks or if you just grade one road. (The) $50 000 is just nothing.”