Shurugwi South Member of Parliament Edmond Mkaratigwa has come out clean on the allegations of abuse of the constituency development fund.
The MP yesterday released documents of the funds, how they were used in all the 15 wards of his constituency.
Mkaratigwa said the allegations were raised by people who just wanted to tarnish his image, so that they can go and campaign in the constituency.
“We are in the new dispensation and people should just do away with these cheap politicking gimmicks. For the record I have every documentation of what we are saying. To start with, in the constituency we had a Constituency Development Committee that has people from different backgrounds in the constituency,” he said.
He said when they received the money, he set down with the committee and they agreed to buy cement as a committee and they managed to get 1200 bags including transport from Bulawayo.
“In my constituency, the Constituency Development Committee (CDC) identified different projects they wanted to embark-on in every ward. It was agreed by the Committee to access the resources on a first come – first served basis although generally each ward had its allocation of 80 bags of cement. Ward 3 initially wanted the electrification of their clinic and that project was more expensive for our budget hence they had said they could get the finances for their requisite project later. When money was released by Parliament, the Committee as noted, agreed to buy cement and in particular two truck-loads of cement were bought for the cement and that made up 1200 bags which were delivered directly from Portland Cement Bulawayo, without middlemen,” explained the MP.
He added that the 1200 bags of cement were kept at Pakame Mission using the mission’s warehouses and the CDC further introduced a control system and they used stock control sheets.
“Fourteen individual wards collected their share of 80 bags from Pakame Mission within the reasonably expected time and only one ward under Councilor Tamiswa Njovana did not collect their portion within the stipulated time. They could have done so because cement was not their main priority but electricity,” he said.
Explaining further, Mkaratigwa said Ward 6 that was busy constructing weir dams had a shortage of cement and the Committee made a resolution in a properly constituted meeting, to advance the cement to ward 6 as ward 3 was still brainstorming on its proposed project.
“Ward 6 therefore used 160 bags on the basis that the cement would become unusable if it was stored for too long and, we also did not want to over-burden the Mission that had provided the secure storage facilities,” he added.
He said some constituencies drilled and installed boreholes while others embarked on reasonably bigger projects like weir dams in line with the Constituency Development Committee’s approvals as duly constituted and procedurally directed by the Committee of Parliament.
“Ward 3 later came up with a project to build some school facilities but it was very late and the Committee agreed they will have their share off-set in the soon coming allocation. The financial balance was used for buying mesh-wire for nutritional gardens for the constituency and we had to keep the finances in stock form to lock its purchase value,” he added.
Mkaratigwa said there was no way he would abuse CDF when he has done a lot for the constituency using his personal funds.
“I have actually done a lot of work both in the constituency and in the country broadly. He has donated Computers at Makonde Primary, Dombotombo Secondary, Gato Secondary. He also electrified and implemented a number of water and sanitation projects starting from his village and around the constituency. Electrification was done particularly at the business centre, and several other schools also,” he added.
Currently he has commenced a half a million US$ electrification project for Mavedzenge Primary School and villages around Mupangayi area in Ward 11.
He has been paying fees for several children in the constituency.
Mkaratigwa said some of the councilors were working with Temba Mliswa who is eying the constituency to smear campaign him.
“I am just told that these allegations were coming from one Councilor Njovana who is said to be working with Honorable Temba Mliswa who is eying the constituency. Let me set the record straight I do not have problems with people who come and campaign in my constituency but let them tell the truth. I am aware of the meetings held and their resolutions. Let them tell the nation the truth,” he said.