Treasury allocates $5bn to CDF
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
A TOTAL of $5 billion has been allocated in next year’s budget for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), around $23 million for each constituency.
National Assembly members elected by constituencies are given money under CDF for development projects in their constituencies as part of deliberate efforts by the Government to develop communities in line with Vision 2030 anchored by the National Development Strategy 1.
The allocation was made by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube when he presented the 2023 national budget a fortnight ago.
Zanu PF Chief whip, Cde Pupurai Togarepi, said the amount was reasonable and would help transform communities as envisaged by the objectives of the fund.
“That is quite reasonable. We will however, push the Minister of Finance and Economic Development during debate in Parliament to slightly increase it.
“Quite clearly, it is a fact that CDF has gone a long way in transforming communities alongside devolution funds,” said Cde Togarepi.
“A lot of communities have been improved with CDF, classroom blocks have been constructed, so have bridges been built and other infrastructure.” Norton MP, Mr Temba Mliswa, said the money will cover projects like borehole drilling but the boreholes need to have solar pumps given the increased frequency of power cuts.
“It will help in drilling boreholes but because there are many wards to be attended to, the money has to be increased.
“The boreholes need to have solar pumps because of power cuts. It must be increased because CDF is well accounted for; it is monitored; it has created employment for people like builders and plumbers; it is not enough,” said Mr Mliswa.
Midlands Senator, Mr Morgan Komichi, said while the CDF had transformed many communities, there was a need to review the way it is structured where a Member of the National Assembly’s constituency benefited at the expense of senators and those Assembly members elected by proportional representation.
“Of course as Senators we are part of the Constituency committee for the CDF where we append our signatures for the money to be released.
“But we feel that we should also get the money so that it covers all areas that a Member of the National Assembly might exclude,” said Sen Komichi.
Last year, Government said it was working on the Constituency Development Fund Bill, aimed at ensuring there is full consultation within each constituency and standard procedures on development projects spending. The Bill will also criminalise abuse of the fund following reports of misuse by some MPs. In the past, successful prosecution of offenders was difficult because there was no law governing the use of the fund.