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Parliamentary Monitor: Issue 22
Monitoring Trust (Zimbabwe)
February 08, 2012
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The latest on
Members of Parliament who abused CDF has shown that four male have
failed to account. The names are being withheld as the issue has
been referred to the Global Political Agreement Principals. There
are problems with this move and some of them are:
This has nothing
to do with the GPA.
The elections of MPs preceded the signing of the GPA. It is wrong
to use the GPA as an instrument to govern/regulate the operations
of a constitutional body like Parliament.
As it stands, the principals of the GPA, President Robert Mugabe,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his Deputy Arthur Mutambara,
are the executive thus referring an issue like abuse of funds by
MPs is collapsing the frontiers of the three pillars of the state.
We are deliberately oblite-rating these and the doctrine of the
separation of powers. We may be creating our own dictators. While
Zanu PF and MDC-T are undisputed principals, anyone can see that
the same cannot be said about DPM Mutambara. There are issues before
the courts and until these have been settled, it may be wrong to
refer an issue to DPM Mutambara. Imagine what would have happened
if one of the MPs was from his party? The only joy is that MPs from
Matabeleland have all been accountable. This means that for the
other MDC, they could be mere observers.
We could be
setting a very bad precedence here. There are processes and procedure
to follow should one realise that there has been fraud, theft, robbery
or abuse of trust. The most logical thing to do is to take the issue
to the police, they are the best people to deal with this. What
would happen if the principals say pardon them? We are taking a
very long route to clear people accused of abusing public trust.
The funds they abused were meant for basic development. There are
times when in pursuit of justice, action is taken not to compensate
the injured but to deter those who may also want to do the same
one example is jailing someone for murder. Some of the facts, as
we scanned through the press clippings are:
- The list
has been whittled down from seven to four.
- All four
are male MPs
- One is a
former provincial governor
The issue is
not failing to account, as is the case with the other 20+ but diversion
of the funds The four are equally distributed between MDC-T and
It is a fund
that was established in 2009, and started operating under the 2010
fiscal year, aimed at making basic constituency based development
projects. There was a an upper limit of US$50 000 per constituency.
be a training of the MPs on how to handle the fund. A more robust
monitoring mechanism be adopted. Yes there should be audit but there
should also be a monitoring and evaluating mechanism. It is one
thing to account for and anther to have an impact!
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