CDF looters should be revealed

By Portia Sigauke

A cross section of people in Harare has called on the government to reveal and shame legislators who had in the previous year’s misused the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

The call comes after Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Secretary Mrs Virginia Mabhiza, made sensational revelations that government official auditors of the CDF had been threatened by violence with some legislators if they reveal the names involved in abuse of the CDF funds.

Mrs Mabhiza said this while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts where she had been invited to explain irregularities that were found in her ministry by Auditor-General, Mrs Mildred Chiri.

Bhekinkosi Mabugu said it was not fair for the Ministry of Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs not to reveal the names of legislators who had abused the funds as this could fuel more corruption.

“My view on this matter is that it is not fair because if the government fail to reveal the names of MPs who abused the funds that were meant to develop our communities then their efforts of trying to stamp out corruption will be in vain this could lead serves as an encouragement for others to do the same as there will be not held accountable, he said.

Yollanda Mashayahanya said there was no need for the government to hide names of legislators threatening the auditors’ as they are accountable to the people who voted them into office.

“As the people we have the right to know who was abusing the constituency development fund and they should be accountable for their actions. The government needs to act on this issue as most Mps have been behind the government for lack of development in our communities,” she said.

In 2011, Bulawayo councilor Benjamin Sigwazi Ndlovu and former Magwegwe MP Felix Magalela Sibanda attacked journalists after the media ran stories naming several MDC-T MPs in Bulawayo for misusing CDF money, failing to properly account for it and for making decisions on funds without consultation.

The CDF was introduced during the Seventh Parliament to cushion MPs in stirring developmental projects in their constituencies, but the fund was grossly abused by some MPs due to lack of a legislative framework governing its use.

Legislators in the Eighth Parliament have not yet accessed the $50 000 Constituency Development Fund as Treasury struggles to raise money.

To date at least 53 constituencies were not audited as legislators threatened to harm Government auditors.

 

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