CDF looters off the hook?

HARARE - Members of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe who allegedly looted Constituency Development Funds (CDF) are off the hook with government indicating that it will not pursue criminal prosecution.

Attorney General Johannes Tomana told the Daily News yesterday that the government prosecuting arm has halted legal action against the MPs because there was no concrete evidence placed before him to nail the legislators.

Tomana said it was not his duty to investigate misappropriation of funds and referred the matter to Eric Matinenga, the outgoing Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister.

“You should ask the outgoing minister (Matinenga) what happened to his audit as he was supposed to hand over his findings to the Anti-Corruption Commission to start their investigations,” Tomana said.

“As I speak to you, there is no docket in my office on the CDF, so I am not able to prosecute anyone and this will make the legislators walk away scot free.

“Some of the politicians were saying that we were trying to prosecute MPs from one certain political party and we decided to have an audit in all constituencies on the CDF before the prosecution. I have not received anything on that issue to date.”

Matinenga said yesterday he instituted an audit into the funds which he claimed was handed over the AG to take up the matter.

Tomana however, insists he was not handed any audit documents. Since 2009, Treasury has been allocating special grants under CDF to parliamentarians to carry out developmental projects in their constituencies.

However, taxpayers raised concerns that some MPs converted the money to personal use.

In the 2012-13 budget, Matinenga’s ministry was allocated $5 million in CDF that was shared among 210 constituencies.

Last year, four legislators from both Zanu PF and the MDC were arrested allegedly for abusing the funds.

Following widespread abuse of the fund, government hinted it was going to introduce a CDF Bill to criminalise legislators suspected of having looted the constituency development cash.

Comments (1)

Mission accomplished, so they say. All was meant to blackmail and blacklist the opposition in their bid to smear them.

Hlongwane Spinach - 17 August 2013

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