Matobo North legislator Never Khanye (Zanu PF) is accused of clandestinely using part of the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) meant for the construction of the clinic to construct vending stalls which had not been identified as a priority in the community at the expense of the clinic as well as freezing out villagers from participating in choosing their own projects.
MATABELELAND SOUTH, The CB News, 24 April 18 — MATOBO North's Ward 17 villagers have taken their Member of Parliament (MP) Never Khanye (ZANU PF) to task demanding the legislator to explain how he used the Government’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Villagers allege that the MP clandestinely used part of the funds meant for the construction of the clinic to construct vending stalls which had not been identified as a priority in the community at the expense of the clinic.
Disgruntled villagers who spoke to The Citizen Bulletin said they had hoped that the CDF would help address their longtime plight of not having a clinic before their hopes were shattered by the legislator who individually picked a different project to pursue at the expense of more pressing community needs.
They said they walked for more than 20 kilometres to Natisa Clinic (pictured) which is overwhelmed by dozens of patients as it services at least three villages out of six in the constituency.
“Our MP (Khanye) was given the $50 000 of which $7 000 was meant for our ward and he decided, without consulting us, to channel it to useless projects such as building vending stands along the Kezi-Maphisa road instead of constructing a clinic which we had identified as a top priority,” one of the aggrieved villagers, Steven Dube fumed.
Hlengani Ncube, a resource person for the ward told this publication that he had tried to no avail, to engage the legislator on behalf of villagers during a ward meeting to discuss the CDF.
“I raised this issue with him during a ward meeting and he decided to skirt all my enquiries including why he decided to set aside the clinic project without consulting villagers,” Ncube said adding that villagers believed that the CDF was blighted by political interference.
“ZANU PF has structures which interfere with village and ward development committees. The ZANU PF chairperson did not present the ward plan to the MP and in turn, the MP did not consult the community,” Ncube charged. “We believe that this kind of political interference is the one causing confusion in the way this fund (CDF) is administered.”
“If we have CDF the sitting MP should make consultations with constituency members as to how to use the money. These should be all-inclusive gatherings that are not in any way aligned to any political party,” added Ncube.
Villagers also accused the legislator of failing to come up with committees to administer the CDF, an allegation which the legislator flatly denied.
“That’s not true,” Khanye said in reference to the allegations that he was administering the CDF as a one-man committee. “I have two committees that I work with. If you want to see all the projects that I have done go to Matobo RDC, they will show you all the information you may need as stipulated in the Standing Rules and Orders of Parliament.”
However, efforts to get a comment from Matobo Rural District Council, the local authority overseeing projects in the constituency were fruitless at the time of publication as its Chief Executive Officer Elvis Sibanda had not provided the information which he had promised to avail in detail when contacted for comment over the phone.
Despite failing to secure a share of the CDF to construct a clinic, villagers said they had resolved to go on with the project on their own through community contributions.
“We are going forward with this project because it’s one of our pressing needs,” a community member who refused to be named for fear of retribution said.
“We have already dug the foundation, moulded bricks and collected sand and quarry to kick-start the project on our own,” the community member said. — Editing by Divine Dube