Residents of Pelandaba – Tshabalala Constituency have told ZANU PF candidate Joseph Tshuma not to dare promise them anything as they were fed up with lies from his party over the 44 years it has governed.
Tshuma is seeking to take advantage of self-styled Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Secretary General Sengezo Tshabangu’s withdrawal of initial winner Gift Siziba.
Siziba claimed the seat by more than 4,000 votes in August last year against Tshuma’s party representative Cecilia Verenga but dramatic developments in the opposition party saw Tshabangu withdrawing him from Parliament.
He will not run following a High Court decision to bar him and other CCC Members of Parliament (MPs) who were recalled, from contesting their seats under the party name.
Addressing Tshuma, an elderly form ZPRA cadre who identified himself as Mzizi from Nkayi asked what Zanu PF still offered having failed to provide anything for them since independence in 1980.
Mzizi gave an emotional analysis of the situation in Bulawayo, highlighting how its industries had closed down, the scourge of alcohol abuse in youths, poor infrastructure and a general failure by Zanu PF legislators despite the obvious underdevelopment.
“Since 1980 we have been under the Zanu PF government. What they did first was to destroy companies in Bulawayo. You tell us that you will develop more for us, we died a long time ago when you were not there. You were not there when we were still in ZPRA.
“Do not promise us more just so that we employ or vote for you, this city is dead,” said Mzizi.
Bulawayo is a pale shadow of its former glory when huge corporates were either headquartered there or large factories such as Dunlop operated non-stop.
“Our children are not employed, they spend the day drinking whiskey because of you, because of bottle stores you continuously give licenses to sell to them,” he said.
“There are MPs along Nkayi Road who belong to your party who are not doing anything, what are you going to do for us today after giving us such clear examples that you do not care about us?
“Sithembiso (Nyoni) has failed so has Stars Mathe and your other colleagues in Lupane, Nyamandlovu; they have all failed and now you promise us a Canaan, a heaven on earth?
“We are tired of being used by politicians. Your children are in America and Britain at the expense of us who vote for you.
“The truth is that you have failed, we now want to try a new broom that is going to sweep better. Remember July Moyo destroyed Bulawayo when he was Local Government Minister.
“Fix the Victoria Falls Highway to show that you work, there are MPs from Bulawayo to Nkayi who have underdeveloped the area and destroyed it completely.”
The Bulawayo – Victoria Falls highway has become a deathtrap and despite government assurances that it will be rehabilitated to Harare – Masvingo highway standards, very little is visible on the ground to indicate this.
Matabeleland has witnessed very little in terms of development since independence, with the little that has been recorded being channelled towards Harare.
It is however not the only victim as gold-rich towns such as Kwekwe and Kadoma and diamond-rich Marange have been left in a deplorable state despite their contributions to government coffers.
“You are milking us, you are heavily taxing us, you have taken over bills that were supposed to be paid to councils so they are able to fix our roads. We are sick and tired.
“You have failed for 44 years, we are in great pain because our children are in exile. They are being mugged and abused in foreign lands all because of you who have destroyed the economy.
“Where were you, you politicians of the ruling party? We are grateful that we are being governed by black people but you have failed us,” Mzizi said.