MPs in fresh re-election bid

HARARE - With almost all legislators having declared their interest to seek a fresh mandate to represent their respective constituencies, the million dollar question is whether they still have the confidence of the electorate whom they literally deserted soon after their election in 2008.

The Daily News spoke to MPs across the political divide to find out what they have to offer to the people to justify another mandate.

Most of the MPs disappeared from their constituencies during their tenure only to reappear now that another election is around the corner.

Zanu PF’s Chikomba East Constituency legislator Edgar Mbwembwe argued that he needed a fresh mandate to represent his constituency as he had unfinished developmental projects.

“I have developed eight schools and clinics in Chikomba East and rehabilitated boreholes. Chikomba East is very remote and very dry and we are having problems at two clinics and six schools that were facing closure prompting the community to approach me for solutions,” said Mbwembwe.

Among the beneficiaries of the assistance are Mushipe, Mupatsi, Mutengwa and Matove schools as well as Musumba and Mufudziwakanaka clinics, he said.

He added that he has been working with farmers in the area helping them with transport to carry their produce to the market as well as providing them with seeds and fertilisers.

Mbwembwe said he was working with the Chikomba Development Committee Trust board led by chairman Lance Jena to help the community, which is lagging behind in development and needs many developmental projects.
Goromonzi West MP Biata Nyamupinga said she had used the CDF funds from Treasury to develop the constituency’s schools, clinics, roads and dip tanks.

“We have a lot of projects that I worked with the community which I need to complete and I have no doubt that people there still have confidence in me to serve another term.

“There is also a primary school I am working on in Shumba Village as we want to upgrade it to accommodate more students,” said Nyamupinga.

She said that she had started a project of helping orphans at Makumbi Mission School. Nyamupinga said she was keen to continue with the advancement of the women’s cause as she was the chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus in Parliament.

“There is a lot of work that I need to continue to work on in advancing women’s issues as it is unfinished business,” said Nyamupinga.

MDC MP for Silobela Anadi Sululu said he was working on a water project in his constituency as it was in the dry region and he wants to construct more boreholes, clinics and schools.

“I invited Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last year to commission some water works and nine boreholes in the constituency and he was very impressed with the work,” said Sululu.

He also added that he wanted the local community to benefit from the mining industry in the constituency and will be lobbying for the employment of the local community.

Mbare Senator Morgan Femai of the MDC said he was not able to do much development in the constituency together with the incumbent MP Piniel Denga because of the political violence and intimidation from the marauding Chipangano youths.

Chipangano is a militia group associated with Zanu PF.

“We had some projects to clean and repair water works, tower lights and clean the streets but we face problems from Chipangano, who were vandalising the projects. I tried to start a project of flea markets for women and youths at Mupedzanhamo but it was stopped by the Zanu PF youths.

“My appeal to the police is that they must work with the legislators in the urban constituencies to help to bring peace otherwise there won’t be any development to talk about,” said Femai.
MPs received $50 000 each as CDF from Treasury.

Four MPs Albert Mhlanga (MDC Pumula Constituency), Marvellous Khumalo (MDC St Mary’s Constituency), Cleopas Machacha (MDC Kariba Constituency) and Franco Ndabakuwa (Zanu PF Magunje Constituency) were arrested by the Anti- Corruption Commission and appeared in court in March this year.

Charges against Ndambakuwa and Mhlanga were withdrawn before plea, whilst Machacha and Khumalo’s matters are still pending.

MPs were the sole beneficiaries of the funds with Senators made ex- officio members in the administration of the funds.

However, cases of misappropriation of the funds arose with 10 MPs facing allegations of abusing the funds and they were arraigned before the courts.

Attorney General Johannes Tomana halted the prosecution of the MPs arguing that a proper audit into how they used the money was to be undertaken before any MP can be accused of abusing the fund.

The public has been keen to find out what happened to the $ 50 000 each MPs received from Treasury as CDF was meant for the development of their constituencies.

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