‘CDF fraudsters should face music’

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Political parties yesterday hailed the move by the Anti-Corruption Commission to take to account MPs that allegedly abused the Constituency Development Fund, saying they did not entertain corruption and would want the law to take its course.

On Monday, MDC-T MP Marvellous Khumalo was arrested and three more MPs, Zanu PF’s Peter Chanetsa and Franco Ndambakuwa and MDC-T’s Cleopas Machacha, face arrest.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said in an interview yesterday his party would not take any action until the truth prevailed. He said action should be taken if MPs were found guilty of abusing public funds.

“We don’t condone corruption at all as a party. We want the law to take its full course. We want them to do their job. We believe one is innocent until proven guilty,” said Mwonzora.

“If you abuse public funds, you have to pay for it. We do not condone that at all as a party. We cannot do anything at the moment until a verdict is reached. But there are some MPs who just delayed in submitting and are in the process of clearing themselves. We are happy though that the majority of MPs submitted their returns.”

Joram Gumbo, Zanu PF chief whip, said: “I will not comment on a partisan point of view, but as a parliamentarian. We do not support or condone things which are not right. The money we were given was for the MPs to use for the benefit of the public in their constituencies. The MPs needed to talk to the councillors and come up with projects and they should have accounted for that money they took.

“But we have the ministry (Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs) to blame also because when the money was given to us at first, there were no guidelines.”

MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese said those MPs that had allegedly abused the funds would have to explain themselves.

“I understand that some of the MPs were putting their papers in order and taking them to the ministry. They handed in (papers) late. Our leadership is dealing with the matter and will be looking into the circumstances and maybe then take a position,” Gonese said.