Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government has increased Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocations to parliamentarians from $50 000 to $200 000 with immediate effect.
This was said by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube while responding to parliamentarians during debate on the Mid-Term Budget Review Statement and Supplementary Budget presented last week.
“Honourable Members would also be pleased to note that we have increased the budget for the CDF from $50 000 to $200 000 per member,’’ Minister Ncube said.
The CDF is given to National Assembly members to carry out development projects in their respective constituencies.
Parliamentarians have been complaining that the $50 000 was no longer adequate to carry out any meaningful development projects due to inflation.
Meanwhile, debate on the Budget was continuously disrupted by MDC-Alliance members yesterday.
The legislators from the opposition party initially indicated that they would not continue debating the Budget, saying that it was flawed.
“We have decided to withdraw our participation because we have made attempts to debate factually, but it looks they are not interested, so we are not going to be part of this circus.
“Their Budget is fundamentally flawed and we refuse to be part of it,” said MDC-Alliance proportional representative member Tabitha Khumalo.
The legislators eventually left the chamber only to return to continue with their interjections while Warren Park D representative Mr Shakespeare Hamauswa tried to participate despite his party’s earlier position.
However, leader of Government business in Parliament and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi objected to the move. “They (MDC-Alliance) are on record that they will no longer debate the Budget. So if they want to debate they should first withdraw that statement,” he said.
The supplementary Budget was eventually passed.