HomeLocal NewsMatinenga defends CDF

Matinenga defends CDF

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Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga yesterday said the few MPs accused of abusing their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocations had tainted the image of parliamentarians.

Matinenga made the remarks when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs chaired by Buhera Central MP Tangwara Matimba (MDC-T).

“Some people have termed this ‘Constituency Development Fraud’, but we can never have a situation whereby everybody is going to be perfect and it is unfortunate that now people are picking on one bad apple and concluding that all 210 MPs are bad apples, yet many MPs did wonders with their allocations‚” he said.

“Only 65 constituencies have been audited and we have been stagnant because we do not have funds, but we have managed to increase our auditors from five to 17.”

Matinenga said his ministry would soon visit countries with CDF legislation to get guidelines on how to craft the same kind of legislation in Zimbabwe.

He said it was unfortunate that the Attorney-General’s Office and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) were failing to work together to investigate the abuse of CDF.

Four MPs from Zanu FP and MDC-T had been arrested by the time Attorney-General Johannes Tomana halted the prosecutions saying the ZACC had done a poor job of investigating the legislators.

Matinenga also told the committee that a lot of progress had been made in resolving the outstanding issues in the constitution-making process.

“I am glad to report that the issue regarding the death penalty has been resolved, and the issue of having an independent prosecuting office is nearly agreed upon,” he said.

“There are two main issues that are still outstanding, and these are citizenship and the issue of devolution of power.”

He said some political parties argued that if dual citizenship was allowed, white people might come back and reclaim their farms.

“Some people get paranoid about this issue and think we are going to have whites coming back to reclaim land,” Matinenga said.

“On the issue of devolution, we are still to agree on its nature and extent and whether it is going to be at provincial or local level.”

He said a draft constitution should be expected at the end of April with the referendum set for September this year.

He said government had to date spent $18,2 million on the constitution-making process, with development partners contributing $24 million.

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