Constituency Fund plundered

A shocking catalogue of plunder and serious abuse of the Constituency  Development Fund, in some cases perpetrated by Members of Parliament, some of them Ministers  was yesterday revealed by the Parliamentary Select Committee on public Accounts.

The Committee heard that the CDF funds intended for development in the constitutency  were instead used to  procure second hand  motor vehicles irregularly and that some of the money  was paid to private businerss organisations contrary to established regulations and procedures.

The main culprits in the abuse were named as MPs including Provincial Ministers who in some cases obtained money which was allegedly paid directly to project holdres including chiefs- all against financial regulations.

It was however the purchase of second hand vehicles which revealed the most corruption.

The Committee chaired by Chipangali MP, Vincent Mwale heard that Mr Mwewa, who is also Labour Deputy Minister, forced Mwansabombwe District Council to procure second hand motor vehicles with highly inflated prices using companies belonging to  relatives.

Mr Mwewa according to information availed to the committee personally got quotations for brand new  vehicles from Toyota Zambia for K400,000 (four million old currency), for a  brand new Toyota Land Cruiser and CFAO (Z) quotation for K385,000 for Nissan Patrol Vehicles, duty inclusive. Then added a lower quote from his own company for a second hand  vecle which  the council purchased.

A check at the second hand motor vehicles that were supplied by Mwewa’s company, Mutombo Supplier’s and Construction, that was recently registered by Pacra, revealed that the vehicles were worth less than K100,000 (one hundred thousand kwacha). It is not clear what happened to the difference.

In  Pambashe the MP  who is also Agriculture Deputy Minister, Ronald Chitotela  also supplied a second hand Toyota Land Cruiser motor vehicles to  Mwansabombwe District Council at K275,000  alsthough further verification showed that the price should have been  K100,000.    The MPs were  supplying motor vehicles on quotations  indicating duty when councils do not pay duty.