tendai biti finance minister 2 29-08-10.jpgThe Ministry of Finance has been accused of usurping Parliament’s role in the disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund in a process fraught with irregularities as no guidelines on how to use the money were given.

 

According to the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Austin Zvoma, parliament exists as an elected representation arm of the state which has its own vote and budget and as such should have the independence to undertake its mandate.

Although Parliament has been fully performing its mandate over the years, since the establishment of the inclusive government, there have been misunderstandings as the Finance Minister, Mr. Tendai Biti, is now carrying out the duty of parliament, thereby missing out on procedures.
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The vehicle scheme for Members of Parliament and the Constituency Development Fund were expected to be handled by the Clerk of Parliament who is the accounting officer.

Mr. Zvoma says his office is not privy to the goings on regarding the Constituency Development Fund as this was handled by Mr. Biti who in the process made mistakes.

“As parliament of Zimbabwe we are not privy to the goings on in the constituency development fund as we were not involved in the whole process.

“As parliament we are supposed to handle our own affairs but were have no power to do that at the moment,” said Mr Zvoma.

Zanu-PF Chief Whip, Cde Joram Gumbo confirmed that proper procedures were not followed in the disbursement of the funds.

Cde Gumbo said: “Minister Biti erred in the whole process and we are only being asked now to reconcile the funds which were used last year. There are irregularities in the way parliament business is being handled by Biti.”

Analysts say Mr. Biti’s actions are clear cases of executive interference in the other arm of the state, the legislature.

There are also reports that constituencies did not benefit from the funds as some legislators are said to have purchased cars or prioritized programmes that benefitted individuals.