Constituency Development Fund to be reintroduced but……


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The Constituency Development Fund which was introduced during the inclusive government to help Members of Parliament to develop their areas will be reintroduced once the legislative framework has been put in place, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said last week.

Responding to a question by Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi who wanted to know when the fund would be reintroduced since the current Parliament was already in its third session,  Mnangagwa said the fund will be brought back once the Constituency Development Fund Bill, which had already been approved by cabinet, is passed by Parliament.

“I wish to clarify the issue of the CDF,” Mnangagwa said. “When it was introduced, there was no legislation to govern or regulate its implementation.

“During the First Session of the Eighth Parliament, there was no allocation for that purpose. However, Hon. Members of Parliament insisted in the consultations, that they view the CDF as very important for purposes of assisting Members of Parliament to develop their constituencies.

“As the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, we then made principles for that Bill, which went to Cabinet and were approved. We drafted the Bill which went to the Cabinet Committee on legislation and has been approved. The process now is for the Bill to be tabled here in Parliament for Hon. Members to debate it and if agreed, it will be passed into law.”

There were complaints during the inclusive government that the Fund had been looted by some of the legislators with most of those named belonging to the Movement for Democratic Change.

Mnangagwa, however, said the fund will only be for legislators who represent constituencies.

Zimbabwe currently has 270 members of Parliament, 60 of whom – all women- do not represent any constituencies. They were elected on a proportional representation basis.

 

Q & A:

 

HON. ZINDI: Thank you Hon. Speaker for recognising me. My question is directed to the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa, who is the Leader of the House. With regards to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), what is the Government thinking along those lines, taking cognisance of the fact that we are already almost three years into the Eighth Parliament?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wish to clarify the issue of the CDF. When it was introduced, there was no legislation to govern or regulate its implementation. During the First Session of the Eighth Parliament, there was no allocation for that purpose. However, Hon. Members of Parliament insisted in the consultations, that they view the CDF as very important for purposes of assisting Members of Parliament to develop their constituencies. As the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, we then made principles for that Bill, which went to Cabinet and were approved. We drafted the Bill which went to the Cabinet Committee on legislation and has been approved. The process now is for the Bill to be tabled here in Parliament for Hon. Members to debate it and if agreed, it will be passed into law. So, we are seized with the process of bringing the Bill to Parliament after the processes which I have mentioned. I thank you.

Hon. Misihairabwi Mushonga having stood up to ask a supplementary question.

THE HON. SPEAKER: There is no need for supplementary – [HON. MISIHAIRABWI – MUSHONGA: kukhona] – buzani.

+HON. MISIHAIRABWI – MUSHONGA: Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. My question is directed to the Hon. Vice President regarding the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Will this fund be extended to the 60 women Parliamentarians who were elected on a proportional representation basis or it will only be for elected Members of Parliament with constituencies? I feel that we are also entitled to access the CDF as Members of Parliament.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order, just as well, the CDF refers to constituencies, so I do not know whether the Hon. Vice President has a different view.

+THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for the initial response you gave to this question, which is very appropriate. As the name implies, Constituency Development Fund is a fund targeted at developing constituency programmes and hence, it will only be directed to Hon. Members with constituencies and not non-constituency Members. Since this is a Bill, maybe there could be a change of heart regarding this matter. However, as it stands, it is only for constituency-based Members of Parliament.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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