While politicians appear to have stopped investigating the abuse of the Constitutional Development Fund (CDF) by some MPs, unemployed citizens in Bulawayo are calling on relevant ministries and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take action.
In February, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga named 10 MPs, including two ministers, who failed to account for money given to them under the programme.
However, last month, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana instructed investigations and arrests by the ACC be put on hold until a thorough audit of all 210 constituencies is done, instead of the 55 earlier targeted, had been conducted.
This was interpreted by civic organisations and MDC parties as protecting certain MPs. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai later maintained there was no going back on investigating all forms of corruption.
In a letter to Matinenga, copied to Finance minister Tendai Biti, the Zimbabwe Unemployed People’s Association (Zupa) patron Thamsanqa Zhou applauded the ministry and the ACC for “undertaking work related to audits of the CDF”.
“Zupa believes that the audit should cover both investigating misconduct and identifying those areas where in good faith, there was lack of capacity by the parliamentarians using funds for their intended purpose,” he said.
The association requested it be allowed to second people to the investigating teams.
“Since the majority of the intended beneficiaries are Zimbabweans whose interests Zupa represents, we now propose that Zupa be allowed to second an oversight team to your ministry and the Anti-Corruption Commission for the ongoing work,” Zhou said.
Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate is believed to be above 80% affecting mostly young people.
The CDF is meant for constituency development projects and each MP received $50 000.