Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Constituency petitions Biti to account for CDF

by Staff reporter
07 Jun 2021 at 21:44hrs | Views
Residents of Harare East are up in arms against their legislator, Mr Tendai Biti, over alleged misappropriation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Members of Parliament, Mr Bit included, received ZWL50 000 from Treasury in 2019 as CDF which was established in terms of Section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act. The fund is designed to bankroll developmental projects in each constituency.

Residents of Harare East accuse Mr Biti of being non transparent in the use of the CDF. According to sources within various residents association in the constituency, there is not even a single project that Mr Biti initiated using the CDF.

"Mr Biti disregarded all the strict guidelines put in place to manage the CDF. There is no constituency committee that should assist him to select priority projects. As far as l know, the fund must help with poverty alleviation and improving the living standards of the constituency through developmental projects such as construction, repairs and maintenance of boreholes, clinics, schools, market stalls and related infrastructure. All these are in a sorry state in this constituency and nobody is in the know as to what the fund was used for," said one resident who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This publication also spoke to an executive member of the Greendale Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) who bitterly complained about the alleged mishandling of the CDF.

"I spoke to Tendai (Biti) following residents' swelling disquiet over the CDF. I actually invited him to the residence meeting we held on Saturday (30 May), for him to account for the finances he was allocated to help support his area. We have not heard anything from him," complained the resident.

Characteristic of his arrogance, Mr Biti never responded neither did he attend the Saturday meeting which the Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province also attended. Senator Chidau articulated Government policies on issues affecting residents of Harare East.

While giving feedback of the meeting to the Greendale residents on the suburb's WhatsApp chat group, GRRA Chairman, Francis Zimunya Nyamutsamba thanked Senator Chidau for showing great concern, interest and desire to solve the problems bedevilling Harare East.

"He is a former Mayor of the renowned Sunshine City of Harare. His desire to turn around the fortunes of Harare and improve its status to its former self was evident when he took his time from his busy schedule in order to attend the meeting together with us.

"His desire to improve the quality of life of our people is highly commendable and deserves our maximum support," said the Chairman whose generous praise for the resident Minister was viewed as a way of sending a message to Mr Biti who shunned the meeting.

Mr Biti, one of the MDC Alliance co-vice leaders, is one of the candidates that Mr Nelson Chamisa imposed in 2018 election to cement the coalition.

The former Finance Minister during the shaky Inclusive Government always blows his own horn saying he is the best finance minister the country has ever had. The Euro-money, one of the world's leading financial markets magazines also awarded Biti the Euro-money Emerging Markets award for being the best Finance Minister in Africa 2009.

The West now wants Mr Biti to take over the reins in the opposition. In that regard, they have been propping up his profile, thus, the award was in pursuit of that agenda.

However, analysts question the worthiness of the award arguing how that can be when Mr Biti is failing to manage the finance of a mere constituency.

"Best Finance Minister my foot, a person who is even failing to manage a meagre fund like CDF. It was just a coincidence that he became a Finance Minister at a time the country had adopted a multicurrency regime which helped to quash hyperinflation and restore stability," said Economist Sunday Murombedzi.

Murombedzi added: "The man (Biti) also has presidential ambitions but if he cannot manage a mere constituency, how can we entrust him with the national headship?"

This is not the first time that Mr Biti has been headlined over mishandling of public funds.  In 2012, police probed him over the suspected maladministration of US$324.4 million that Zimbabwe had received from IMF as Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation in 2009.

Despite his flaws during his time at the helm of the treasury, Mr Biti pretends to be a saint condemning every economic policy that Government enunciates. He is currently the frontline assailant of the recently promulgated Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021 which seeks to curb abuse of foreign currency obtained from the RBZ's auction system.

Source - Online