Parliament has set a cut-off date of December 15, 2017 for Members of the National Assembly to submit applications for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as the legislative body set tough conditions to avoid abuse of Government money.
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda said the conditions included submission of minutes of an inaugural meeting of the CDF committee on how the money would be used.
Adv Mudenda made the announcement in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Government introduced the CDF to enable legislators to spearhead community development projects in their constituencies.In his announcement, Adv Mudenda said the deadline allowed for the processing of applications on time.
“You should also submit names of CDF committees in compliance with the constitution of the fund,” he said. “In other words, if you don’t, you will not qualify.”
Adv Mudenda said the application should be accompanied by curriculum vitaes of committee members of the CDF and an independent bank account with names of signatories.
The announcement followed the recent adoption of tough guidelines on the use of CDF as part of measures to enhance accountability and curb abuse by the legislators. The guidelines include the nature of development projects that could be funded and the involvement of administration of Parliament.
Meanwhile, former Cabinet ministers who were dropped in last week’s reshuffle began to adjust to life as backbenchers in the Chamber, with Mberengwa East MP Cde Makhosini Hlongwane, who had been reported to be in hiding, attending the sittings.
Some of the former Cabinet ministers present at yesterday’s sittings were Zvimba South MP Cde Walter Chidhakwa (Zanu-PF), who was Minister of Mines and Mining Development. Cde Chidhakwa walked into the Chamber and sat at the back, away from the front rows which are reserved for Cabinet ministers. He followed proceedings quietly before he walked out after more than an hour.
Cde Hlongwane sat in the back row normally reserved for Deputy Ministers together with former Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni.
Other former Cabinet ministers in the Chamber included former Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Cde Tapiwa Matangaidze and former Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Cde Edgar Mbwembwe.
Glen Norah MP Mr Fani Munengami (MDC-T) had the House in stitches when he mocked Cde Matangaidze for distracting First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa who was following debate in the Chamber.