We are now in 2017, a year which will see a lot of people campaigning for various political positions throughout the country. However, members of the public are often disadvantaged as they end up voting for people who are not fit for public office. This publication managed to talk to people in all the 26 constituencies in Masvingo province in order to come up with an objective analysis of their legislators' 2016 performance.
Masvingo Central –
Edmund Mhere 58%
Masvingo district's number one MP is Edmund Mhere who is the legislator for Masvingo Central constituency. Mhere is described as a man of the people in his constituency with the electorate saying they were satisfied by his work. He has managed to remain very consistent in helping the community. The Mhere who helped the vulnerable as part of campaigning is the same approachable MP today. However, Mhere has remained more of a businessman than a politician. He decided not to pick unnecessary fights with fellow politicians. The MP needs to improve in parliamentary debates where he rarely speaks. He is getting 58 percent.
Masvingo North –
Davis Marapira 52%
Masvingo North MP Davis Marapira is on the second position scoring 52 percent. Marapira is one of the most improved legislators. He is accessible and approachable by members of the public from his constituency. He has, however, failed to help ordinary people in many areas. When he was elected, the electorate expected him to maintain the Zimuto road but he failed.
Masvingo West –
Ezra Chadzamira 31%
Ezra Chadzamira of Masvingo West constituency is rated third in Masvingo district in the year 2016. He managed to do few projects for the people and he is always in the constituency. He however, soiled everything when he grabbed Yvonne Goddard's farm. The farm was helping a lot of people in Masvingo who were in cattle breeding, however, due to Chadzamira's greed, a lot of families were left poorer. The Mashava community has Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) to thank since their MP seem to have forgotten them too. He gets 31 percent. He is likely to face a mammoth task come 2018.
Masvingo Urban –
Daniel Shumba 30%
Member of Parliament for Masvingo Urban Daniel Shumba is fourth in the district. Shumba is very active in parliament but he visits the constituency not so often. Though there registered a slight improvement last year compared to previous years, Shumba needs to improve visibility in the constituency. He also managed to increase quite a number of enemies in Zanu PF after he allegedly formed a 'holy alliance' with Jeppy Jaboon (Bikita West MP) and Amasa Nhenjana (Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson). They are alleged to be belonging to the Generation 40 (G40) faction which fights to block Emmerson Mnangagwa from presidential ascendency.
Initially, Shumba was labelled the missing MP, however, by the end of last year, there was slight improvement. He started to hold some feedback meetings last year. Shumba raised very high expectations when he was campaigning but he is yet to fulfil the promises. His major strength is that he is articulate hence his contributions in parliament are very rich. He is getting 30 percent.
Masvingo South –
Walter Mzembi 20%
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi is on fifth position. Mzembi's capabilities as a minister are undoubted - he works very hard to put Zimbabwe on the international tourism map, however, he is one of the worst MPs. He seems to have forgotten that he earned that ministerial post because he was elected by the people of Masvingo South. Mzembi has also disappointed the entire Masvingo community by failing to put Great Zimbabwe monuments on the international community. Mzembi is surviving because he managed to win the support of the First Family. If he is not imposed by Zanu PF next year, he is likely to lose the party primaries or he has to really work hard. He deserves a 20 percent.
Chivi Central –
Ephraim Gwanongodza 60%
Ephraim Gwanongodza is the best legislator in the district and he has scored 60 percent. Gwanongodza is always in the community with the electorate confirming that they were satisfied by his representation. He has done a number of projects in the constituency and he is ready to listen to the people. The road network in his constituency is the best. He constructed a community hall at Chivi growth point and has helped a lot of schools in the area. He has sponsored a lot of sporting activities for the youth. He donated sporting kits for youth in the constituency. Gwanongodza stands a better chance of re-election though quite a number of prospective candidates have already emerged in the constituency.
Chivi North –
Mathias Tongofa 42%
Mathias Tongofa has failed to pass the test. The Chivi North MP, who is also deputy minister of youth, is scoring 42 percent. He is not visible in the constituency and has completely failed to come up with sustainable projects for the youth. However, Tongofa has the potential to improve.
Chivi South –
Mafios Utete 10%
Mafios Utete is the worst MP for Chivi district. He is scoring 10 percent. Utete has completely failed to represent the people and the electorate says he is not even fit to be a ward councillor. In Chivi South, Killer Zivhu - a ward councillor seem to have done a lot for the people after realising that the MP was sleeping on duty. The former MP for the constituency Irvin Dzingirai was far much better than the incumbent. It's almost certain that Utete will not even attempt to seek re-election unless he wants to be humiliated.
Mwenezi West –
Lamson Matavire 20%
Member of Parliament (MP) for Mwenezi West Lamson Matavire has no competition in the district since his counterpart in Mwenezi East Joseph Moyo died before doing anything. Matavire is scoring 20 percent. The people of Mwenezi seem to be the forgotten community of Masvingo with very minimum representation. Matavire is not much visible in the constituency and he is also not vocal in Parliament.
Zaka West –
Vincent Mawere 55%
Vincent Mawere did a remarkable job in his constituency by facilitating the construction of roads linking various areas which were difficult to travel by car. Although the projects have not been finished, many areas are now accessible. This has been hailed by many even people even from the opposition. He is always in the constituency where he interacts with everyone. He is a very humble MP who is scoring 55 percent.
Zaka North –
Robson Mavhenyengwa 46%
Legislator Robson Mavhenyengwa is concentrating too much on petty issues. The roads are not accessible but he managed to donate few chicks – maybe 2 000 chicks. He is remembered for donating some few bags of cement towards the community initiated Rutsvakanyere foot bridge construction project. The MP started very well but seems to be getting tired. Chances of him being re-elected are slim unless he goes back to basics.
Zaka Central –
Paradzai Chakona 50%
MP Paradzai Chakona can articulate issues and he participated fairly well in Parliament. He managed few projects in Zaka Central but he really needs to build good relationships with the local leadership. They don't see eye to eye with Chief Nhema and this forced him to 'neglect' a part of his constituency which surrounds Chief Nhema's homestead. Politics is very deceiving sometimes as people will never tell you in your face that they no longer like you. Anyway, Chakona might face a mammoth task come 2018. Strong candidates have already emerged in the constituency. He is scoring 50%.
Zaka East –
Samson Mukanduri 12%
We thank God he managed to distribute some rice which he received from President Robert Mugabe. The Zaka East people should be very docile indeed; they re-elected Mukanduri who is hardly seen in the constituency. Had it not been for the Murerezi Bridge which was repaired by Zinara, Mukanduri would have nothing to point to. The MP is often in Mvuma at his farm. The roads network in the constituency is poor. Zaka East people really deserve better leadership. He is the worst MP in Zaka and is also in the group of poor performers in the province. Mukanduri has never done any meaningful project on his own. He is scoring 15 percent.
Bikita South –
Jeppy Jaboon 55%
Jeppy Jaboon is the most visible legislator in the district. He is very restless - Jaboon has been all over the constituency as well as the province. Factional politics within Zanu PF kept him up and running as he tried to defend his territory on daily basis. However, Jaboon ended up playing more political games than developmental projects. He passes with 55 percent.
Bikita East –
Kennedy Matimba 52%
Kennedy Matimba is always in his constituency but has not managed to reach all corners of Bikita East. He is cool and composed but that does not help the people who voted for him – he should fulfil promises he made during the run-up to the July 31, 2013 elections. Matimba should not only concentrate on areas close to his homestead but should visit and do projects to other far areas in the constituency.
However, his character matches well with the kind of people in the constituency and for him there is room for improvement. He gets 52 percent.
The Bikita West constituency is always in the limelight, mostly for all the bad reasons. You can't talk about past political violence without referring to Bikita West. It is again unfortunate that their MP Munyaradzi Kereke was jailed for raping a minor. Hopefully the MP who is going to be elected on January 21 will not betray the people of Bikita.
Chiredzi West -
Darlington Chiwa 58%
Darlington Chihwa of Chiredzi West constituency is the darling of Chiredzi. He is number one MP in the district. Although Chiwa was not very active when he went into office, 2016 saw him doing very well especially in fighting against fresh sugarcane farm invasions. Together with Denford Masiya of Chiredzi East constituency, Chiwa managed to protect the interest of the majority of people who are employed by Tongaat Hullets. The two MPs are like twins - they are both humble and approachable. They both score 58 percent. There is room for improvement for the two as they seem to be now fully aware of what is expected of them as legislators.
Chiredzi South –
Calisto Gwanetsa 48%
MP Callisto Gwanetsa was disturbed by factional politics in Zanu PF. Since the time he was fired from the provincial chairmanship, Gwanetsa became too scared to do anything; he retreated into his shell. Unlike other fellow MPs who were not in the army - Gwanetsa is doing completely opposite of what is expected from someone who held top positions in the security service. He is shy and very slippery as he probably concentrate with his studies at Midlands State University. He gets 48 percent.
Chiredzi North –
Robert Mukwena 10%
The worst MP for Chiredzi district, and among the worst in the province, is Robert Mukwena of Chiredzi North. Mukwena is more of a place holder. He has not managed to do anything meaningful and he seems to be learning all the time. Unfortunately he is already running out of time. Mukwena only got the limelight in the media for using public transport to go to Parliament since he was reported to have no driver's license. He achieves percent.
Gutu Central - Lovemore Matuke 55%
Matuke has been reasonably visible in his constituency, and has been there for his constituents at times when they needed his help. Most notable about his work is probably his drive to reduce youth unemployment by supporting youth-oriented projects. Matuke initiated a poultry project in Chief Nyamande's area which has enabled dozens of villagers to purchase solar panels for the electrification of the rural households. By late last year, over 250 homesteads had already benefited from the project and had access to clean affordable energy. A total of 1 500 households expected to benefit at the end of the project. Matuke supported the production of a movie called Dawn to Dusk and made full commitments to support other film ventures in Gutu.
Gutu South - Dr Paul Chimedza 43%
Chimedza began quite well in 2013 when he took over the seat from the late Eliphas Mukonoweshuro of MDC-T. His constituency became one of the biggest recipients of external donor aid in the first few months of his becoming MP, something that drew the ire of the anti-progress elements in Zanu PF. He facilitated the installation of electricity infrastructure in ward 28 – his home ward – the only ward that had remained in the dark in the constituency.
Chimedza also mobilised the community to mould bricks for the construction of a state-of-the-art solar-powered clinic in the same area. Factional politics, however, got the better of him and he found his projects failing to proceed in 2014 when he was suspended from the party for being part of the 'the former Vice President Joice Mujuru cabal'. Right now, the bricks are going to waste and the electric poles are there but there is no electricity flowing in them. He comes far behind Matuke because he failed to manage his acrimonious relationship with Shuvai Mahofa (who is blamed for stalling the projects) and for failing to resurrect the projects after his suspension was lifted last year. Although Chimedza is very visible in his constituency, he should fulfil some of the projects he promised before elections.
Gutu West - Tongai Muzenda 40%
Like Dr Chimedza, Tongai Muzenda also became one of the early victims of the vicious Zanu PF factional battles and was slapped with a three-year suspension for being in the 'Mujuru cabal'. Muzenda has not been very visible in his constituency since 2013 and he seems to be basking in the glory of his late father; the revered nationalist Dr Simon Muzenda, without making much initiatives of his own. His contributions in parliament have also been muted and this reporter is struggling to find anything notable that he has done for the poor villagers and resettled farmers in Chatsworth and elsewhere. Muzenda certainly needs to pull up his socks if he is to retain the seat come 2018.
Gutu North - Ticharwa Madondo 21%
Ticharwa Madondo's only meaningful contribution in Gutu North is his visibility – he is always with the people. He managed to attend quite a number of functions since being elected. Madondo has been visible at many field days in his constituency but that is all. In all other areas, he is 'dead wood'. Nothing new has been done since he took over the seat from Hamandishe Maramwidze. In fact the people of Gutu North are very unfortunate as they always elect MPs that are not so effective. Or are the MPs a reflection of the calibre of people that are in Gutu North? Next election will tell.
Just like his predecessor, Madondo is media shy - while all his colleagues have been in the news (for good or for bad) in the course of their terms, Madondo is nowhere to be found and his contribution to parliamentary debates is almost zero. Madondo should probably be forgiven because he made it clear in the run-up to the 2013 elections that he was not going to promise people 'heaven on earth'.
He, however, should be blamed for promising excellent leadership which will enable Gutu North to be 'self-sufficient in food'. But four years down the line, where is the food self-sufficiency? Maybe we should pardon Madondo because he probably do not know what he meant when he said he would ensure Gutu North people are self-sufficient. However, he is one MP who should fast forget about having another term come 2018, unless the people of Gutu North are docile.
Gutu East - Berita Chikwama 20%
From an accounts clerk at Gutu Rural District Council to a member of parliament, to being the Deputy Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement in no time, Chikwama's rise is almost enigmatic. She has managed to learn to dress properly as a legislator, and of late as a deputy minister. However, it appears like there is a strong missing link between Chikwama and people of Gutu East who have virtually nothing to show or cherish from the deputy minister.
Chikwama however, should be accredited for remaining with the people – she is probably one of the best MPs who have managed to remain visible in their constituencies. But Chikwama is best known for her overzealous political fanaticism which is devoid of any common sense. Besides always blocking or trying to block opposition rallies, Chikwama has done nothing for her people. The Gutu-Kurai road remains unfinished and the untarred part of the road is one of the worst in the district, ask those who travel between Chimombe and Dewure. It is for these and many other glaring failures that Chikwama is rated the worst MP from Gutu for the year 2016. But at least she is trying to advance herself academically – she is pursuing a degree with the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU); who knows maybe it will help to widen her scope!news