By Nyasha Ngonidzashe Mukapiko
Many residents are experiencing poor service delivery and representation because of political differences between local Ward Councillors and Legislators. This has led to stagnant development in many constituencies.
City of Harare Environmental Management Committee Chairperson Herbert Gomba, who is also Ward Councillor for Ward 27 complained late last year that Legislators were encroaching on boundaries in constituencies thereby causing confusion to residents who would end up failing to differentiate roles between the two.
In so much as the roles of a Councillor is to make sure that residents get unquestionable service delivery which includes safe water to drink, refuse collection, road maintenance just to mention but a few, Councillors also have a mandate to brief the MP on what is happening on the ground but this has been lacking.
Trymore Makumbe a youth from Mufakose in Ward 36 remembers the last time when he made contact with his MP, it was early last year before the then Legislator Willias Mudzimure was recalled from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Morgan Tsvangirai in March 2015.
“We don’t even know the new MP, I just heard his name is Tinashe but I haven’t met him, these people are no-longer Members of Parliament (MPs), it is better that we call them ‘Missing Persons’ (MPs) because they are always absent on the ground”, Tinashe lamented.
Though Makumbe lamented the efforts of his MP, he commended Ward Councillor Gomba for working with the whole Ward towards fostering development in the constituency regardless of political affiliations.
When asked to comment about her relationship with the incumbent MP, councillor Gomba confirmed that the relationship was frosty as there was no communication between the two.
“I don’t talk to him since he was elected in the by-elections he never made headway to find me so that I would update him, it was his duty considering he is the new-comer and I was there before”, Councillor Gomba insisted.
Mufakose Ward 36 Councillor is a member of the MDC-T while Tinashe Maduze, the new MP for Kambuzuma and part of Mufakose is from Zanu-PF, Legislator Willias Madzimure was also a member of MDC-T.
This phenomenon of having division in constituencies by political leaders to further their own selfish interest has become common while the interest of residents which is supposed to come first has gone unnoticed.
Residents, especially the youth, have been shortchanged as friction increases between leaders.
In a related story Sunningdale ward 10 councillor Hammy Madzingira echoed the same sentiments, however he referenced the friction to fears that some Councillors were looking to contest for the Member of Parliament positions come 2018.