Inclusive Govt broke

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The inclusive government is broke as it cannot fund the 2011 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which was supposed to benefit MPs to the tune of $60 000 each up from last year’s $50 000.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga told NewsDay on Wednesday that the Finance ministry had no resources to fund the development projects in constituencies this year.

But when the money is available, Members of the House of Assembly who would have failed to account for the CDF would be barred from receiving more funding from the government until they submit returns.

“The 2011 CDF allocation has remained on paper yet we are approaching year-end,” he said. “There are indications that the fund has remained on paper because the inclusive government has very low revenue inflows; we live from hand to mouth.”

According to Matinenga, 110 MPs out of 210 failed to meet the July 31 deadline to submit returns for the 2010 CDF, and these will not access this year’s allocation.

Under the 2010 budget Finance Minister Tendai Biti allocated $8 million for development projects which are administered by MPs who each received $50 000.

But failure by some legislators to account for the money would mean constituencies with corrupt MPs who converted the money to personal use will lag behind in developmental projects.

Matinenga bemoaned lack of legislation in the management of the CDF which was established by Biti in the 2010 National Budget to spearhead development in constituencies.

The use of the 2010 CDF has raised the ire of people in many constituencies who accuse their legislators of misusing the funds. T

he list of the corrupt legislators, Matinenga said, would be made public as soon as the audit of the CDF is complete.

“Only half of the MPs have accounted for the CDF although we expected every legislator to give us returns. There will be no sacred cows in exposing the corrupt lawmakers,” said the minister.