Fairness Moyana, Hwange Correspondent
HWANGE Central member of the National Assembly Mr Brian Tshuma (MDC-T) was last week taken to task by residents who demanded to know how he used the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Mr Tshuma who had been invited to a public meeting by Hwange Residents Association was at pains to explain to the emotionally charged residents how he used the money.
The residents noted that there was no evidence on the ground to show how the money was used.
The legislator is among those alleged to have failed to account for the last disbursement in which Parliament was threatening to take disciplinary action.
MPs received $50 000 from Treasury meant to develop their constituencies.
The CDF committee is comprised of the sitting MP, Senator, a representative member under the Women’s quota and a chief.
The mandatory committee then co-opts two community members.
“Honourable, it would appear that you are evading to account for the funds by saying you can’t say much without your committee. As the point man I believe you are in a position to tell us how you have been using the funds instead of hiding behind a finger. You can’t tell us that you came here just to excuse yourself from an important matter. We invited you last time and you didn’t come, what we got were excuses that you had gone to Parliament and that your committee was not there,” charged a participant.
Another participant said there were reports that the money only benefited those close to the MP.
“Honourable MP, there are reports that the CDF has been benefiting people aligned to your party, what is the criteria used in identifying beneficiaries of the fund?” asked a participant who identified himself as Daniel.
In response, Mr Tshuma said it would be cumbersome to retrieve documents to prove how the money was used.
“I am only going to speak briefly about the recent disbursements as the last one had a different committee altogether. We can arrange another meeting sometime to talk about that but it will be a process as I will have to access reports from Parliament.
So the $50 000 we received is meant for developmental projects in the constituency and so far we have used around $15 000 in three wards Dinde, Change and one urban ward. We did consultations in these areas and decided to come in with regards to water provision. We also bought 26 beds for St Patrick’s Hospital at a cost of $7 000 as we felt the health facility needed to increase its occupants following its expansion,” he said.
He, however, said unlike yesteryears the fund was not used for income generating projects such as chicken rearing.
“This time around we have received strict rules that the fund should not be used for chicken projects or any such income generating projects that may benefit a few but must be channelled to development of infrastructure. Here we are talking about clinics, schools, hospitals, water and roads among other things. Very soon we will also be holding consultative meetings with some of you to determine the way forward on development projects,” said Mr Tshuma.
Some MPs have come under fire for failure to account for the money, raising fears that they could have abused it.