Another MP arrested over CDF

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Magunje MP Franco Ndambakuwa (Zanu PF) has been arrested for allegedly failing to account for the $50 000 Constituency Development Fund allocation he received from Parliament last year.

Ndambakuwa was one of the 10 MPs named last week as having failed to account for the development funds.

However, as of yesterday eight other MPs were said to have submitted returns to the Ministry of Constitutional and ParliamentaryAffairs with the exception of Ndambakuwa who had been on the run and St Marys MP Marvellous Khumalo (MDC-T).

A senior Anti-Corruption commissioner last night confirmed the MPs arrest and said he was being held at Rhodesville Police Station in Harare.

Earlier, Secretary for Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Virginia Mabhiza confirmed Ndambakuwa was being hunted by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

It is understood that when the ACC went to Ndambakuwas residence, his wife indicated she did not know his whereabouts before his arrest yesterday.

Mabhiza, who yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, told MPs that the CDF audit was still ongoing as only 65 out of 210 constituencies had been assessed.

However, this does not mean that non-submission or submission of the returns necessarily means the CDF monies were used efficiently, and that is why it is necessary to carry out audits, Mabhiza said.

The audit exercise is still ongoing and the ministry has asked for 12 more auditors to augment the five that are doing the audits and so far the audit reports have revealed unsatisfactory use of the funds from four constituencies.

The four constituencies in question include St Marys (Khumalo MDC-T), Hurungwe North (Peter Chanetsa -Zanu PF), Kariba (Cleopas Machacha -MDC-T) and Magunje (Ndambakuwa Zanu PF). Mabhiza said it was very likely that after the audit of the 210 constituencies was completed, more MPs could be nabbed for misuse of the fund.

She said the ACC had already approached Chanetsa in connection with the fund, but he was not arrested. Mabhiza told the committee her ministry would soon produce a magazine detailing how different constituencies used the CDF monies.

On the constitution-making process, Mabhiza told the committee that Copac was currently saddled with a $4 million debt incurred during repeats of outreach programmes and extended thematic committee timelines.

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