By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
NATIONAL Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda has called on voters to dump MPs who have abandoned in excess of $7 million in Constituency Development Funds (CDF) through failure to submit applications to get their allocations.
Many MPs from the political divide have reportedly failed to submit applications to access a government grant created to spur developmental projects in their areas of jurisdiction.
A total of 91 Zanu PF and 50 MDC legislators have not bothered to apply for the 2020 disbursements under CDF.
Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda made the revelation during an interactive engagement workshop with civic society organisations and the media Tuesday in Chinhoyi.
“91 Zanu PF MPs and a total of about 50 MDC MPs have not applied for CDF. This is a sham. They could fix a borehole, complete a classroom block or build a clinic with this money.
“The uptake is very low, and I am personally not happy…there are some MPs who are generally lazy. You as the people who wield power should take them to task,” said Mudenda.
The Speaker revealed that each lawmaker was entitled to receiving $185 000 to kick-start developmental projects in their constituencies.
Mudenda said the electorate should punish underperforming MPs by voting alternative candidates in the 2023 harmonised elections.
“When we go to the next elections, remove this type of MPs who don’t want to take up CDF monies,” he said.
Mudenda said there was urgent need to enact legislation governing allocation of CDF to legislators and make it a punishable offence, preferably attracting a jail term, to those found dipping into the government purse.
A number of legislators have been brought to court for allegedly abusing CDF, but their cases crumbled due to the non-existence of laws that criminalise abuse of the facility.
Some lawmakers allegedly bought personal household furniture and cars while others are said to have lavished their lovers with trinkets using the allocations.
Meanwhile, Mudenda reiterated Parliament’s resolve to fighting corruption in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s declarations for “zero tolerance” to graft.
Mudenda, however, lamented the low rate of convictions in corruption matters, although evidence on the ground points to a sustained battle with the vice.
The Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare as well as the Energy and Power Development committees have in recent months exposed grand corruption among high-ranking government officials resulting in a former Cabinet minister currently serving a jail term, said the Speaker.