Stealing MPs should be arrested

Union leaders and civil rights activists have called for the arrest of MPs from across the political divide who abused the Constituency Development Funds.

Raymond Majongwe
Raymond Majongwe

Through the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, all MPs were given $50,000 each to carry out development projects in their respective communities. Only 60 MPs have been able to account for the funds amid reports that some diverted the money into their pockets, bought luxury cars and even married new wives.

The Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Eric Matinenga, said recently that only the 60 who accounted for the money would be given the next batch of cash. He did not say what would happen to those who cannot account for the funds.

Zimbabweans are outraged.

“The government must set up a taskforce to arrest those who abused the funds. Any MP who took the money and misused it is not fit for office and should be removed from contesting in the next elections,” said Raymond Majongwe, Secretary General of the Progress Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.

Simple mathematics show that the nation has lost over $5 million intended for developmental projects. But neither the police nor the Anti-corruption commission has investigated the abuse.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a social commentator, said the two MDC formations should lead by example and punish the MPs, including several ministers, who abused the trust.

“If the MPs are from the two MDCs then they should be send to a political Siberia. They should be arrested and when elections come they should not be allowed to stand as they are not fit for office,” he said.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists Secretary General Foster Dongozi said the abuse of funds was a reflection of the calibre of MPs that are in the country.

“They obviously got into politics to enrich themselves and not to represent the people. It’s a reflection of the calibre of our MPs – accountability is not a key issue. It is also a reflection of the economic environment where weak-minded MPs are likely to be tempted to abuse public funds because they are poor,” said Dongozi.

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