NEWLY-elected Members of Parliament have requested that they take over Constituency Development Funds (CDF) not claimed by some legislators during the recently-ended Eighth Parliament amidst reports that at least 10 legislators had not claimed the $50 000 funding for their constituencies.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Makoni South MP Dudzai Misheck Mataranyika (Zanu PF) on Tuesday asked Parliament administration during induction of MPs to clarify if newly-elected MPs can claim the CDF funds which have gone unused.
Deputy clerk of Parliament Hellen Dingani said it was permissible for the new MPs to claim the unused amounts as long as they followed the correct procedures.
In Zimbabwe, CDF funds are meant for projects such as boreholes, construction and repairs of roads, dip tanks, libraries, refurbishment of schools and clinics, including income-generating projects for the constituencies.
“We expect that new MPs take over the CDF accounts that were formed by the previous MP and the CDF management committee, and funds are still there for constituencies which did not receive their CDF allocations in the last Parliament,” Dingani said.
Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC Alliance) suggested that the $50 000 CDF allocations be revised upwards as they were now too little for meaningful projects.
“I am not sure who determines the figure for CDF because the $50 000 is nothing in respect of developmental projects, especially taking cognisance of the current inflation rates that we are experiencing as a country,” Sibanda said.
Dingane said it was up to MPs to request an increase of the figures during budget debates.
CDF was first introduced in Zimbabwe in 2008 and after some MPs abused the funds, Parliament then came up with a CDF constitution which has stringent measures on how MPs can apply for the funds. The funds are now accounted for and audited.