Lawmakers across the political divide have failed to apply for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), meant to fund development projects in their areas of jurisdiction, National Assembly speaker, Jacob Mudenda has said.
The government through the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has set in motion the distribution of ZWL$420m, meaning each legislator is entitled to ZWL$2m. This year’s amount is 10 times more than the ZWL$200 000 each MP got last year.
However, there has been low uptake in the fund as the bulk of MPs have shown no appetite to access the funds.
Mudenda expressed concern saying the communities should benefit from the fund.
“MPs are not applying to the Parliament and the relevant ministries to assess the funds which are waiting to be distributed to the MPs upon approval of their projects.
This is a disservice to the communities by MPs; there is money available to be used by them. This applies to Zanu PF and MDC MPs,” Mudenda told Business Times this week.
“The money was approved in the 2021 budget and waiting to be assessed by the MPs and we had also the same problem in 2020 as well.”
The CDF was set up in 2010 by the government to help MPs develop their constituencies.
But, a number of lawmakers abused the CDF, with some buying personal properties with the money but could not be prosecuted due to the non-existence of laws criminalising the abuse of the funds.
Now, the government has said it has set up some modalities to stop the abuse of the funds by the MPs.