Hon. Toffa: Proportional Representation MPs should get CDF

Hon. Toffa: Proportional Representation MPs should get CDF
Hon. Toffa: Proportional Representation MPs should get CDF

Legislator Jasmine Toffa has urged the government to consider giving Proportional Representation legislators Constituency Development Fund (CDF) so that they can become effective.

Under the current CDF legislation, only the 210 legislators who are directly elected are entitled to the fund that is meant to help spearhead development in constituencies.

However, the 210 legislators who benefit directly from the CDF fund, have reportedly been using it to enhance their chances of returning to Parliament come next election.

This has not gone down well with the 60 Proportional Representation legislators and the Senators who believe their colleagues are being given a stepping stone.

With the government intending to extend the life of the Proportional Representation Clause, legislators believe the extension should also come with the CDF.

Speaking in the National Assembly during debate of the Constitution Amendment Bill No.2 which is in the Committee Stage, Honourable Toffa said Proportional Representation legislators will not have the same strength with the 210 legislators.

‘’Thank you Honourable Chair. I would like to say that I object to the increase in the number of seats for the proportional representation.  I would prefer a situation where we get the 50:50 as inscribed in the Constitution.  I say this Honourable Minister because if you look at the proportional representation, I am a beneficiary and was one of the first beneficiaries of proportional representation.

‘’Honourable Minister, even if we look at the increase that you have allowed for in the amendment, I do not see an improvement to what was there before.  

‘’The proportional representation MP does not have the same strengths as a constituency MP.  I say this because a constituency MP gets Constituency Development Fund and this proportional representation MP does not. 

Hon. Toffa: Proportional Representation MPs should get CDF

‘’Now, I was listening to the argument that was put forward by Honourable (Priscilla) Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Honourable (Dexter) Nduna and others talking about the young women.  We are talking about people with disabilities and we are talking about women who are not financially empowered and liquid.

‘’They come in and have nothing to make them up.  As I said, I object to the increase of the PR and knowing that you will not give us the 50:50 which we would rather have. I would propose Honourable Minister that the PR is also given a Constituency Development Fund, particularly because you are talking about young women that are coming that have nothing to lean on and to get the power base.

‘’You are talking about people living with disabilities who are already at a disadvantage and will feel again as though they are being put in a situation where they cannot express themselves properly and have got to be under somebody else.

‘’This provision of the Constitution is to empower women but the empowerment has a glass ceiling. You are there but you are not there, so we have to put that into consideration.  I would like you Honourable Minister to look into that.  Thank you,’’ she said.

Hon. Toffa: Proportional Representation MPs should get CDF

Hon. Toffa: Proportional Representation MPs should get CDF