Zimbabwean police arrested Magunje legislator Franco Ndambakuwa of President Robert Mugabe's former ruling ZANU-PF party on charges he abused a $50,000 constituency development fund for the Mashonaland West area he represents.
The development Monday came as the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ministry of Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs turns up the heat on cabinet officials and legislators who have failed to account for the use of such funds.
Ndambakuwa is said to have failed to account for US$39,000 from the US$50,000 that he received from parliament to pay for projects benefiting his constituents.
He was being held at Rhodesville police station in Harare and was to be arraigned in court on Wednesday, sources said.
Ndambakuwa is the second legislator to be arrested, following the detention of Saint Mary's, Chitungwiza, lawmaker Marvelous Khumalo of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has warned that a number of ministers and members of parliament might be arrested for abusing public funds.
The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has sent auditors to all provinces to verify the existence and status of projects legislators say they have undertaken.
The audit exercise is still under way and the ministry has asked for 12 more auditors to augment the five already in the field.
Audit reports have revealed unsatisfactory use of the funds from four constituencies: St Mary's and Magunje, Hurungwe North and Kariba, all in Mashonaland West.
Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Stanford Chirindo said several lawmakers are under scrutiny, but declined to comment about Ndambakuwa’s arrest.
Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga confirmed that teams are on the ground physically assessing the projects lawmakers say they launched.
Political analyst Gladys Hlatshwayo said parliamentarians who abuse funds must be permanently banned from holding public office.