A THIRD MP was arrested on Thursday in a crackdown launched last week on lawmakers who looted a constituency development fund.
Each of Zimbabwe’s 210 MPs received US$50,000 to develop their constituencies under a scheme introduced in November 2010.
Following concerns that some MPs were abusing the fund, the auditor general and the Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs Ministry launched an investigation which reported unsatisfactory findings in 10 constituencies.
On Thursday, Pumula MP Albert Mhlanga (MDC-T) became the latest legislator to be arrested as it was revealed how he transferred thousands of dollars into his company’s account.
The MP is due to appear before Bulawayo magistrates on Friday charged with fraud.
Officials from the Anti-Corruption Commission who are driving the prosecutions say Mhlanga transferred US$32,000 into an account of his company, Bulawayo Plumbers. He told investigators that his firm had supplied materials for his constituency.
Mhlanga is also accused of shifting US$9,000 into the account of a general dealer, Alex Company, and a further US$2,000 to his friend’s company, Silver Sharp.
The MP failed to account for a further US$7,680.
Prosecutors have already charged St Mary’s MP Marvellous Khumalo (MDC-T) over alleged abuse of the fund. He is accused of splashing on a truck which he was hiring out.
Magunje legislator Franco Ndambakuwa (Zanu PF) is accused of changing signatories to the constituency account and putting his wife and friend instead. They creamed the account of US$49,000, prosecutors say.
Khumalo was released on US$300 bail, and Ndambakuwa was freed on US$500 bail.