No place for scroungers

It is shocking that 18 Members of Parliament have stolen a total of $900,000 from their constituents.

The long-awaited audit into the use of the Constituency Development Fund disbursed to each parliamentarian in 2010 has been completed. It is pleasing to note that most of the 210 MPs have accounted satisfactorily for the $50,000 they each were given to use for developmental projects in their constituencies. This shows maturity and responsibility on their part and augurs well for the future.

The CDF has made an important contribution to development, particularly in the rural areas, where a wide variety of projects have alleviated the suffering of many battling the effects of the economic meltdown and lack of development during the past decade.

It is unfortunate that a few greedy, dishonest MPs have brought the honourable name of Parliament into disrepute and generally soiled the names of our lawmakers. People who present themselves for public service should do it with the intention to serve those who elected them. Parliament is no place for scroungers.

We urge Parliament to guard its honour zealously. In making the announcement about the results of the audit, Minister of Constitutional Affairs Eric Matinenga did not name the guilty MPs.

He has chosen rather to leave it up to the leaders of the political parties to decide what course of action to take concerning their individual representatives. It is our contention that MPs should be above reproach. Anyone found guilty of stealing from the people should be named and prosecuted. It is totally unacceptable that an “honourable” Member of Parliament should behave like a common criminal.

Parliament must make an example of these dishonest members. It should send a message loud and clear that corruption in the august House will not be tolerated. The defaulting MPS should be ordered to refund the misappropriated money. In addition, they should be barred from contesting any future elections.

People in the affected areas have been betrayed by those they trusted to represent them. There should be zero tolerance when it comes to the abuse of public funds.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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