Vhembo speaks at the dialogue meeting. To his left and right are Nyamandi and Sibanda respectively
As the July 30 harmonised polls draw nearer and as some candidates seek election and re-election, many promises are being made to the electorate.
Some candidates are promising milk and honey while others go their way smearing others in a bid to win the hearts and minds of voters.
Masvingo Urban parliamentary seat has a total of nine candidates while 51 aspiring councillors are battling it out in the constituency's 10 wards.
Last week, TellZim News in partnership with MyAge Zimbabwe and the Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) organised a public dialogue between aspiring councillors and the residents they want to represent.
Aspiring councillors from Ward 3, Ward 7 and Ward 4 had an opportunity to spell out their plans and hear the concerns of voters.
The candidates were asked to present what they will do for the electorate in their wards in line with the country's socio-economic aspirations.
Three Ward 3 candidates turned up; Zanu PF's Allan Sibanda, MDC Alliance's Tarusenga Vhembo and MDC-T's Tafirei Nyamandi.
Also present were Charles Chipetu of the MDC-T (Ward 7) and Zanu PF Ward 4 candidate, Tavara Mudukuti who was represented by his campaign manager, Pianos Chadya.
All the aspiring councillors for Ward 3 talked about the city council's problematic dumpsite which has posed a serious health risk to residents for a long time.
He promised to push for the removal of the stinky dumpsite if he is voted into council, saying the areas posed a real health danger to the people.
"The first port of call is the dumpsite. The dumpsite is literally at the centre of people's homes and it has to be removed. In winter, vagrants burn the site to keep warm and the smoke engulfs people homes causing a lot of discomfort.
"People live across the road from the dumpsite and I will make sure that this matter is addressed when I get into council.
"I will make sure that we employ people who will collect recyclable materials from the dumpsite and provide them with sorting cages so that they can make a living," said Sibanda.
Sibanda, who runs a brick moulding company, said he will work to create more employment opportunities for the youth.
"I terms of employment, I will promise to do more because I am already doing it. I employ a considerable number of youth at my company so when I get into council, I will keep helping the youth and women," said Sibanda.
He said the youth should be provided with their own amenities where they will be able to discuss matters affecting them in total confidence.
Vhembo said there should be recreational areas dedicated to the youth so that they can have a chance to deliberate on their own issues.
He also decried the poor state of roads and promised to push for the construction of a foot bridge across the stream in Runyararo West which becomes hard to pass in the rainy season.
"During the rainy season, the stream floods and it makes it impossible to cross. If the stream floods and you are on the other side, you are be trapped there until the water subsides.
"We need a much elevated bridge so that people will be able to go about their business without any hindrance. The elevated bridge will also reduce the risk to life when the stream is flooded because we often see people attempting to cross the flooded stream," said Vhembo.
He said a foot bridge is also needed for pupils who walk to such schools as Masvingo Christian College and Mucheke High.
"Masvingo Christian College has a big number of pupils who come from Ward 3 and they face a challenge when the stream is flooded. They will fail to go to school because it will be impossible to cross and we are going to push for the construction of a foot bridge.
"We do not want a situation where we lose life over something which can be avoided," said Vhembo.
Vhembo skirted the issue of employment creation and went on to promise sporting and recreation facilities.
"We do not have any recreation facilities in Ward 3 and we are going to change all that. We need soccer grounds for our youth to play football and other games," said Vhembo.
He promised to work hard to ensure that the blocked drainage systems are unclogged to reduce the chances of flooded houses and streets during heavy rains.
Nyamandi, who used to support Neslon Chamisa, got frustrated during the party's primary elections when he was defeated by Vhembo by two votes, leading him to cross the floor to Thokozani Khupe's faction of the MDC-T.
"I am going to make sure that the drainage system in Ward 3 is opened up. The reason why most houses in low areas get flooded is largely because of poor drainage networks. Opening up those lines will help create jobs for our youth. I will make sure the youth are given favourable chances of getting employment in that area," said Nyamandi.
He said Ward 3 needed a secondary school and a clinic because children there were walking long distances to access such services in other wards.
"We need a clinic in Ward 3 because the ward has grown bigger. I will push council to construct a clinic here for our people so that we decongest the ones we have. As a matter of urgency, I will push for a mobile clinic to come and give services to our people," said Nyamandi.
He said he will lobby for the construction of a library, swimming pool and a fitness centre for the people in Ward 3.
He promised to have roads rehabilitated and decried the interference of national politics on council business.
"We will need to have good roads in our ward but as you may see, we are affected by our national politics. We may have brilliant ideas but we often fall short because of national politics.
"The aspiring councillors have a lot of good things they want to do for their people but when they get into council, they realise that there is nothing much they can do because the system will not allow it. This is the reason why you see a lot of people making promises but, in the long run, fail to deliver on them because of the red tape involved.
"I will push to break down unnecessary red tape for the sake of development," said Chipetu.
Representin Tavara Mudukuti, Chadya promised that better days were coming for residents of Ward 4 as Mudukuti will work hard to empower especially the women and the youth of the area.
Chadya promised that struggling projects that employ women and the youth will be supported and be considered for rate exemption when council sits.
"There are women who are into recycling in our ward and we know they are facing a lot of challenges. It is our job when we get into council to address these issues and capacitate our people.
"We are going to transform the lives of our people in every aspect. We know there are a lot of people who are suffering from various chronic diseases and we are going to create a herbal garden where various herbs will be grown to cater for the needs of the community.
"We are going to run aggressive campaigns against promiscuity to lower the rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and make sure that people are aware of the dangers. The clinic will be working around the clock to help the community and make available the information of all the cases they would have attended to on weekly basis," said Chadya.politics