9th ParliamentArticles

MPs in Masvingo Province narrate their Challenges

By Hazvinei Mwanaka

Legislators from rural constituencies in Masvingo Province say issues of drought, water shortages and high transport cost are affecting the welfare of people and development in the province.

In an interview, Bikita East legislator Johnson Madhuku said he not able to meet with councillors in his constituency to plan development because the price of transport is unsustainable.

“The high cost of transport in the country has also not spared us here in rural areas. We have challenges when it comes to meeting with councillors as some are not able to attend meetings and so that slows developmental work because we are not meeting as often.

“At times I use my own car to ferry them. We hope with the introduction of ZUPCO buses it will be much easier for everyone,” he said.

Honourable Madhuku added that the other challenge is that his area is near conservancies and peoples’ livestock are being killed by lions.

“We constantly engage National Parks to help us but all they do is to just scare them away because of the laws that we have,” he said

Also speaking on the challenges Gutu North legislator Yeukai Simbanegavi said poverty has put legislators in a difficult position as they have to decide between addressing hunger or development.

“People are looking for something that will just put food on their tables. Let’s say you want to build a bridge, people are not willing to come, they are looking for short term solutions to their problems they no longer have an appetite for future and long term solutions,” she said.

Honourable Simbanegavi added that poverty has seen a lot of people expecting too much from legislators to the extent of wanting them to buy coffins, beer and food at funerals among many other things.

Chivi Central legislator Ephraim Gwanongodza said people are faced with massive hunger and the food being distributed is not enough adding that most water sources have since dried up.

Gutu East legislator Berta Chikwama concurred with Honourable Gwanongodza adding people did not get much from the past agricultural season.

“Last farming season, most people did not harvest much since our area is very dry. I just encourage them to grow drought-resistant crops,” she said.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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