Dzivarasekwa Member of Parliament (MP) Edwin Mushoriwa has expressed concern over the delays by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube in releasing the 2021 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) disbursements.
The government has allocated ZWL$420 million towards the CDF in the 2021 national budget, which will translate to ZWL$2 million per constituency, 10 times more than the ZWL $200 000 that was allocated last year.
The CDF is used by National Assembly members to carry out developmental projects in their constituencies.
MPs in the past complained that the ZWL$200 000 was not adequate to carry out meaningful development projects owing to inflation.
Raising a point of privilege in the August House, Thursday, Mushoriwa said he was concerned that the first quarter of the year was nearing completion before any CDF disbursements had been made.
“Mr. Speaker, my point of privilege relates to the budget that we recently passed,” said Mushoriwa.
“One of the issues on the parliamentary budget that the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic Development agreed to was the inclusion of ZWL$420 million towards the Constituency Development Fund. We are now approaching the first quarter of the year but we have not yet received anything in terms of the allocation.”
He added: “We implore you Mr. Speaker Sir, to help us to run these constituencies.”
In his response, National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda said the Finance Minister recently gave an assurance that funds would be released soon.
“Thank you very much Hon. Mushoriwa,” said Mudenda.
“The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders met some 10 days ago and we have been assured by the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development that funds are being put together to start rolling out those funds for constituency centres so that the Members of Parliament are able to communicate with their various constituents.”
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)