MPs begin receiving CDF allowances

The Sunday Mail

Priscilla Kamurira
Members of Parliament (MPs) will begin receiving funds to bankroll various projects in their constituencies within the next 30 days.

Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda told The Sunday Mail the disbursements were still pegged at $50 000 per constituency.

“Treasury is currently mobilising resources and we anticipate that disbursement to MPs should start within the next 30 days and each constituency is entitled to 50 000 RTGS dollars for the 2019 allocation,” he said.

The CDF is established in terms of Section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act and is designed to sponsor developmental projects.

Zanu-PF chief whip Mr Pupurai Togarepi said it was highly unlikely that the funds would be abused as there are now sufficient checks and balances to ensure they are put to good use.

“CDF is managed through strict guidelines in terms of selecting of projects, composition of constituency committee and follow ups from parliament. Every honourable member would know the consequences of corruption in the new dispensation,” said Mr Togarepi.

“The structure of the CDF now include senators, women’s quarter MPs, chiefs and councillors. Different committees handle different transactions thereby creating transparency and very strong checks and balances.”

Some MPs, he said, have already been planning on how to use the funds in their constituencies.

Similarly, MDC chief whip Prosper Mutseyami said although parliamentarians will judiciously apply the funds to benefit constituencies, the value of the disbursements has since been eroded in US dollar terms.

“I see the CDF allowances going to what they are best suited for in order to achieve the best result for constituencies, but my worry is the figure, because we are talking of 50 000 RTGS dollars. So now if you are given the same amount, it is equivalent to US$7 000, which is a drop in the ocean,” he said.

In essence, the CDF was created to help with poverty alleviation and improving living standards for Zimbabweans through developmental projects such as construction, repairs and maintenance of boreholes, clinics, schools, market stalls and related infrastructure.

Mr Mutseyami said although it was difficult to vouch for all MPs, most of them were satisfactorily putting the resources to good use.

Overall, about $10,5 million will be disbursed to the country’s 210 constituencies.