By Daniel Chigundu
Legislators had complained during the Supplementary Budget debate that what had been previously allocated to them in the initial 2019 budget had been eroded by inflation and changes in the currency before they could use it.
Since the 2019 budget, the government changed the exchange rates from the initial 1:1 and then went on to discard the multi-currency regime adopting the Bond Notes (Zimdollar) as the only legal tender in the country.
However, making announcements in the House, Honourable Mudenda said the allocations have been increased and that legislators should submit projects in line with the new figures.
“…I have to inform the House that following the presentation of the 2019 Mid-Year Budget Review and Supplementary Budget by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development on Thursday, 1st August 2019.
“Honourable Members are advised that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation for 2019 has been reviewed upwards from ZWL$80 000.00….. It has been reviewed upwards to ZWL $175 238.00 per constituency.
“Members are therefore advised to submit projects for funding amounting to ZWL $175 238.00,” he said.
The increase in the CDF fund takes the total allocation for the 210 legislators to about ZW$36 799 980 and comes at a time when the government is failing to buy essential drugs and other amenities needed by hospitals for them to effectively function.
In a recent interview, Kadoma Central legislator Muchineripi Chinyanganya said he was forced to change the initial project he had earmarked the funds for due to loss in value and ended up buying building material for schools in his constituency.
Legislators had also wanted the fund to be pegged using the interbank rate arguing that by the time the money is disbursed it would have lost value and won’t be able to fund the projects that would have been proposed.