…most loyal to ruling party yet least developed
The Ottoman Empire which encompassed present day Turkey and other Balkan states was often referred to as ‘the Sickman of Europe’ during the aftermath of the First World War due to increased population growth as well as massive exodus of peasants due to economic challenges.
Despite an economic boom and surge that saw the big state flourish economically, the state however crumbled due to rise in new ideologies religiously and economically which later earned the name.
Much of the description above may not directly relate to the state-of-affairs in one of Masvingo province’s most loyal (to the ruling party) constituency, but the title of sickness directly applies when it comes to issues of lagging behind in terms of development.
Since independence, the area has seen more than five legislators being elected to represent the constituency in the House of Assembly, but development is lacking to say the least.
From failure to access communication networks to poor road networks among other key components of development, such is the situation currently obtaining in parts of Chivi South 42 after Independence, whose recent theme was ‘Leave no one, no place behind’.
Some villagers who spoke anonymously have rated their past legislators as enemies of development as they did virtually nothing during respective terms of office with some serving more than one term.
“The area is the least developed when compared to other districts in Masvingo province. In some places like ward 23, network is hard to come-by, worse still is the state of roads as some areas have literally no roads.
“One would wonder why legislators chosen by the people would fail to initiate developmental projects in the area. Some of the few livelihoods projects we have witnessed in the area were cattle rearing projects initiated by the Lutheran during the construction of one Mutumbwi dam way back in the late 1990s to early 2000s,” said the villager.
The other community member rued ‘the wasted years’ when people elected former legislator Charles Majange who he said virtually visited. the constituency after elections only to pitch up again during campaigns.
“Of all the legislators to have been elected in this constituency, the era of Majange has been the worst so far as he did nothing to promote development in the area. Some of us (villagers) do not even know him only to come across his name on the ballot papers,” he said.
However some had kind words for the recalled outspoken Killer Zivhu whose short stint was characterised by gospel of intending to improve the area though he left before delivering more of his promises.
“Killer (Zivhu) at least played a better role as he distributed bags of cement to renovate some old building to most schools in the constituency. After all, he would visit the electorate some of the times.
“Maybe of all those legislators who were chosen, Zivhu at least did something though his stay was short lived due to party issues which led to his recall,” said the community member.
The drought-prone Chivi is home to the country’s biggest dam in Tugwi-Mukosi whose precious liquid is now boosting irrigation of sugarcane in the Lowveld in contrast to the local people driving no benefit at all from the waters save for a few who risk fish poaching and cattle drinking water.
The majority of the people have since joined the great trek to South Africa for employment while the few remaining are engaged in gardening, gold panning in nearby Runde River among other income generating ventures.
In terms of fisheries, a few locals benefit in form of employment to such established corporates like Kariba Bream that is already operating in the area.
Of late has been the introduction of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) stood to lose due to lack of representation in parliament before the coming in of incumbent Munyaradzi Zizhou whose promises prior to the March 26 by-elections are yet to take off after he clinched the seat.
With 2023 harmonized polls beckoning, it remains to be seen if or not the constituency would luckily elect a representative who would deliver and answer their calls of development.
A marked shift towards having an MP and local leadership sensitive to their developmental needs is a dream yet to come true and the Tugwi-Mukosi master plan would come up with something meaningful to them after relatives and fellow villagers were displaced by the floods around 2014.