Rose Madzivire, sandwiched by other candidates speaks during the dialogue meeting
Centre of Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe (CGCZ) on July 04 organised a public dialogue meeting for candidates approved to contest in Masvingo West.
Held at Bere Community Hall in Mashava, the event attracted wide interest from residents who took the opportunity to talk with the candidates in order to get a better understanding of what they have to give to the electorate.
The dialogue was held under the theme ‘What are the Youth and Women’s Expectations’ in recognition of the critical importance of these two groups in efforts to improve democracy so that it better reflects the nation’s true demographic image.
Below are the main highlights of what the candidates as part of the presentations and also response to the questions from the community.
Madzivire, who is the candidate for the MDC Alliance, is the only female candidate in the constituency.
She promised to work for the resuscitation of the closed Mashava asbestos mine as well as for the reopening Sipambi Training Centre for the sake of employment creation.
“We want to reopen the Mashava mine so that the youth and also the women may have something to give them an income,” said Madzivire.
She found herself being quizzed on her alleged violent past when she used to be a Zanu PF member and close confident of current party provincial chairperson, Ezra Chadzamira, whom she is now contesting against for the parliamentary seat.
“People do change and I have changed. If the Biblical Saul could change and be renamed Paul, I too can change,” Madzivire said in her defence.
Madzivire used to be the ruling party’s Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) Ward 12 councillor until she got fired from the party in 2016 for joining the then Joice Mujuru-led Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF).
Other candidates who participated in the meeting were Daniel Mutarisi (independent), Henry Makusha (PRC) and Tichaona Mharadza (Independent) and Thomas Masvovere (MDC-T). Zanu PF’s Chadzamira did not turn up, although he had earlier promised to be there.
He said he going to donate wheel chairs to disabled people and also help them to become self-reliant through projects that are specifically designed for them.
He said that he was greatly troubled that the economy still favoured adult males and was discriminatory against women and the youth.
“So we are going to have an engagement with the youth and the women in the communities so that we hear their concerns and push for favourable policies that address those problems and fight marginalisation,” he said.
“It has been a long time since the people in power promised to build better facilities for the informal sector but nothing has happened so as PRC, we have managed to build a clinic for you in Ward 12 Neshuro. We want to do something similar here,” said Makusha.
He promised to offer pieces of land for farming to the youth and women, saying they were suffering the most from the economic difficulties in the country.
Makusha urged the people to vote for him for change, saying the current government had dismally failed to do anything good for the community.
He bemoaned the suffering in Bere community, saying the regular water cuts experienced in the community could only be addressed by an MDC-T government with him as MP for Masvingo West.
He also talked about employment creation, saying Mashava Mine ought to be urgently revived to give people in surrounding communities hope.
“We will also construct roads, implement many other big infrastructural project and revive what has been destroyed so that we rebuild our communities. As parents, you must be hopeful because we will provide free primary education if we are elected,” said Masvosvere.
The former MDC Alliance member based his message largely on property rights and also such policy issues as maternal health, saying women could not afford the exorbitant fees being charged even at public hospitals.
Mharadza was quizzed on why he thought he deserved the vote once again when his tenure as the constituency’s MP between 2008 and 2013 had yielded little.
He however defended his record, saying he managed to repaint Bere Clinic among many other projects.
Mharadza said he will also make the clinics in the community user-friendly especially for people with disabilities.local