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Speaker rejects legislators’ demands

National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda
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The Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, has shot down attempts by legislators to recruit ancillary staff to help them manage the Constituency Development Fund.

He has also told all MPs to account for the $50 000 they each received as CDFs.

A fortnight ago, National Assembly representatives Engineer Elias Mudzuri (MDC-T, Warren Park) and Cde Remigious Matangira (Zanu-PF, Bindura South) argued that MPs needed to employ accounting officers to manage CDFs.

They said many MPs lacked “requisite skills” to do basic accounting. Last week, Adv Mudenda directed all MPs to submit expenditure records, bank reconciliations, asset registers and project cards detailing use of CDFs.

Said the Speaker: “Following my announcement on the 7th March, 2018, on the requirement by members to comply with Article 5.2.4 of the Accounting Officers Instruction which provides for submission of returns for CDF, Honourable Engineer Mudzuri and Honourable Matangira raised two points of orders.

“(These were) in relationship to the employment of an accounting officer for the Constituency Development Fund to manage the fund at the constituency level and the scrapping of the requirement to submit job cards. The objective of the fund is to allocate money equitably to constituencies for the purposes of constituency development and poverty eradication. The constitution (of the CDF) does not provide for the employment of staff to manage the fund or the payment of allowances for committee members.”

Adv Mudenda said legislators were chairpersons and accounting officers for the funds.

“The purposes for accounting for the allocated funds (is that) the CDF must also be audited by the Auditor-General at the end of each financial year. Members who have not submitted any documentation are advised to do so by the close of business on 31st March, 2018.

“This is to allow for administrative purposes to be completed before the end of the Eighth Parliament and for all members to account for money allocated for their constituencies before the dissolution of Parliament.”

The CDF was established to enable legislators initiate development programmes. – Sunday Mail