MP demands CDF

A member of Parliament has bemoaned the late disbursement of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) saying further delays would totally cripple developmental projects in their constituencies.

Masango Matambanadzo, an independent MP for Kwekwe Central, on Thursday demanded that the CDF be allocated immediately.
“I rise to seek clarity in terms of the CDF that we were supposed to have received at the time when Parliament went on recess in December last year. Maybe I missed something because we have not as yet received that money.  

When we came back for this particular sitting, we were told that the funds were in the bank and applications should be submitted timeously.  “We submitted our papers and every time we go to check in the bank to see if any deposit has been made, there is nothing.

The explanation we got is that the ministry of Finance took the CDFs allocated to Parliament back. So, it looks like I am now lying to my constituency.  I have never lied to my people in the constituency before and I should not start doing so now,” Matambanadzo said.
He said he was now avoiding people in his constituency who are enquiring about the funds. 

“As you see me standing here, I am not very educated, I only went up to Grade 2 and to add onto that, I am very dark such that they nicknamed me ‘black man’. “I have risen to explain my dismay on the CDF issue and now I am playing hide and seek with the people who come to make enquiries about the CDFs.

The quotations that we were given have since doubled in price as the money has devalued. May you please look into this issue Mr Speaker Sir?” he queried. National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda said: “I will follow up on this matter and ensure that the funds are deposited into the bank accounts of those whose projects were approved.”

“When the minister of Finance returns from his trip, I will engage him on this matter,” Mudenda said.  "Meanwhile, I will instruct the clerk to write to the permanent secretary of Finance to enable the money to be made available and be disbursed accordingly,” he said.

Government has over the years been providing $50 000 to MPs under the CDF programme, even though some parliamentarians have been accused of abusing these funds. In 2012, government identified 20 extreme cases where MPs abused CDF money. About four legislators were arrested on allegations of abusing the Fund, but their prosecution was stopped after the then prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana raised concern that there was no proper legal framework to successfully prosecute them.