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Zimbabwe Ministry Submits Report on Alleged Misuse of Constituency Funds

  • Gibbs Dube

Matinenga said the 18 legislators named in the report to the president and prime minister failed to submit returns for the US$50,000 allocated to each of them for projects that would benefit their constituencies

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs next week will submit to President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai a list of 18 lawmakers alleged to have failed to properly account for their use of constituency development funds in 2010.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga declined to identify the legislators, but told VOA they come from a number of political parties.

Matinenga said the legislators failed to submit returns for the US$50,000 allocated to each of them for projects that would benefit their constituencies.

He said it is expected that the president and prime minister will take action after going through the audit report detailing the use of funds by all lawmakers in the 210-member House of Assembly and the Senate.

The Treasury allocated legislators US$8 million in 2010 for development projects like refurbishing of schools and construction of reservoirs, but some lawmakers are believed to have diverted such funds to their own personal use.

Matinenga said he is not sure how Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai will react to the report which does not propose sanctions to be taken against the lawmakers.

Lawmaker Samuel Sipepa Nkomo said legislators who cannot account for development funds should be handed over to the police. "I hope the unity government principals will take action to resolve this embarrassing issue," Nkomo said.

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