Matabeleland: 4 years without representation

NKAYI - Villagers of the three Matabeleland constituencies who spent four years without Members of Parliament (MPs) after their expulsion from Parliament by the Welshman Ncube-led MDC said there were treated as non-Zimbabweans.

Abednico Bhebhe of Nkayi South, Norman Mpofu of Bulilima East and Njabuliso Mguni of Lupane East were expelled from Parliament in 2009 by Ncube on allegations of working with the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

No by-elections were held in the three constituencies since 2009 up to now.

Villagers who spoke to Daily News on Sunday blasted the inclusive government for neglecting them and treating them as non-Zimbabweans.

“That was sabotage by government because we spent four years without an MP after Ncube expelled Bhebhe and two other MPs from Parliament,” councillor Sicelo Mpofu of Guwe Ward in Nkayi South told the Daily News on Sunday.

“Our voices were not being heard in Parliament for all those years, that shows the government doesn’t care about us.”

Mpofu said people in his area were shocked when President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF were opposing a court application by Bhebhe and his colleagues seeking by-elections in their former constituencies.

“Mugabe doesn’t care about people of Nkayi, that is why he was opposing court appeals by Bhebhe to have by-elections in Nkayi,” he said.

Jennifer Jaricha of Tohwe area in Nkayi said, “Our constituency is now four years behind other constituencies countrywide in terms of development because of government. We did not see the reasons why they were refusing to hold by-elections after our MP was expelled from Parliament.”

In October 2011, Bulawayo High Court judge Nicholas Ndou ordered Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to announce dates for by elections in three vacant constituencies but Mugabe appealed in the Supreme Court saying the government had no capacity to hold the by-elections.

However, the appeal was thrown out by the Supreme Court. Then Mugabe, through Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, continued to ask for an extension until this year.

Bhebhe, Mguni and Norman Mpofu are now seeking re-election in their former constituencies in the July 31 elections under the mainstream MDC ticket.

Bhebhe will lock horns with Stars Mathe of Zanu PF in Nkayi South while Mpofu will lock horns with Mathias Ndlovu of Zanu PF and Mguni will face Stembile Gumbo of Zanu PF. 

Fanuel Sibanda of Mbila area in Bulilima East said by failing to hold by-elections, it shows the government had no respect for its people.

“We have a government which doesn’t respect its people,” Sibanda said.

“By-elections were supposed to be held soon after the three MPs were expelled from Parliament.”

Bhebhe, who is now the mainstream MDC deputy national organising secretary, said: “People from these three constituencies who spent four years without MPs are very angry and they are going to punish Mugabe in coming elections for denying them by-elections. I am going to win resoundingly in Nkayi.”

Campaigning for the upcoming election is in full swing, with Zimbabwe Constitutional Court upholding Mugabe’s proclamation of July 31 as polling day, dismissing applications from his political opponents, who were supported by the regional Sadc grouping, to have the poll delayed to August 14.

“I am busy right now with campaigns, people want me back into Parliament, they want  me to come back and finish all projects which I failed to complete because of the expulsion from Parliament by Welshman,” Mpofu told Daily News on Sunday from Bulilima East. 

Mguni said: “I am happy that we are finally going to have elections on 31 July; what happened to the three constituencies should not happen again.

“We can’t have people spending four years without representation in Parliament because of the President’s ignorance. And as long as July 31 elections are free and fair, Mugabe will be defeated by a wide margin by Tsvangirai.”

Comments (2)

The cost of chosing the wrong leader. Make that mistake again by going for Ncube then you repeat the same scenario

Doughnut - 21 July 2013

Its only regrettable that almost all of Ncubes renegade mps realised it late that the Zimbabwean agenda was more important than the selfish secessionist tribal ambitions and also that Ncube was a worse dictator than Mugabe. If they had realised it early, we could have walked into a free Zimbabwe by now. Shame 5 years wasted

Scuza - 21 July 2013

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