A South African constituency in Zimbabwe


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The Member of Parliament for Chiredzi South Callisto Gwanetsa had described his constituency as a South African constituency though it is in Zimbabwe because it is completely cut off with the people watching South African television and listening to South African radio.

“The constituency that I represent is more of a South African Constituency in terms of communication. They cannot access television, radio and any means of communication. Therefore, they rely on the South African system. On that aspect, they are more of South African people as we are saying nothing impacts on them,” he said in Parliament yesterday during his contribution to the Presidential speech.

Gwanetsa said Chiredzi South resembled an island as the only bridge linking the constituency with Chiredzi town was destroyed by Cyclone Eline 14 years ago and has not been repaired.

He also said no high ranking government official had visited the constituency in the past seven years though he later conceded that two, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Sidney Sekeramayi, had done so.

“For the past seven years, not even a single Minister has been there. Hon. members, the people feel neglected,” he said.

Gwanetsa said his constituency which hosted Gonarezhou National Park should be a major tourist attraction but it was losing out to South Africa and Mozambique because Zimbabwe had not put up the necessary infrastructure.

The three countries have established a trans-frontier park that covers the three countries.

He also said it was home to Gonakudzingwa, the restriction camp where most Zimbabwe African People’s Union leaders including Joshua Nkomo were detained.

“If it was in South Africa, that was going to be the Robben Island. It was going to be an attraction centre for tourists. Father Zimbabwe hailed from that part of the country. Baba vaMsika hailed from that part of the country. Baba John Landa Nkomo was at that place and therefore, if at all that place was going to be upgraded, it was going to be a tourist attraction centre.

“It is only us, who do not recognise our history. We are a people who have got to build on our own history and therefore, structures have to be put in there and it becomes part and parcel of our tourist attraction centres. It is part of our heritage and is part of our history,” he said.

 

Full contribution:

 

MR. GWANETSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me an opportunity to add my voice on the statement by the pacesetter, on the Speech by the campus holder, the pathfinder none other than the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

May I also take the opportunity to congratulate the Speaker for landing in that post. In the same vein, can I also congratulate the man with the fist of fury who against all odds garnered 61% on the harmonised elections. Congratulations to Cde. Mugabe. Can I also extend my congratulations to my fellow Legislators who made it to this House and as well extend my congratulations to the other side of the House. You are the creme de la creme. You made it into this House but I believe we shall sing from the same hymn book on very essential issues on nation building, corruption and sanctions.

I stand here, having been given the mandate by the people of Chiredzi, I therefore, would like to congratulate the people of Chiredzi. I also salute their traditional leadership, the religious leaders and all and sundry. In putting up this speech, I would want to relate the speech to two aspects as the issues unfold in relation to my constituency Chiredzi as well as the provinces I superintend as Chairman of the Ruling Party, Masvingo. I represent a constituency that is least developed in the country. I shall amplify the part of being the least developed.

The constituency that I represent lies in ecological region 5, wholly a drought prone area. Therefore, it is surrounded or shrouded with a lot of problems. It is a region that has late rainfall and long dry spells that culminate in drought. The constituency is however, blessed to have very fertile soils and it is also home to livestock. However, as a result of sanctions, my constituency has remained on donor funding and the sanctions have also played a big role in the dilapidation of irrigation schemes in Chilonga, Malikango, Magogogwe; all these irrigation schemes are in a derelict state, therefore the southern part of the constituency has become more of reliance on donor funds.

Chiredzi South is a home to livestock but from August last year to date, about 500 cattle have been stolen into Mozambique. Cattle rustling is rife in that part of the country. Police cannot react because of bad roads, no communication and therefore, in view of that, the electorate in Chiredzi feel they are neglected because the service is quite poor. When we talk in terms of food security, my constituency feels that it is neglected in the sense that most of the services are not provided for because there is no transport. Roads are in a poor state and as I speak, from 2000 to date, the only bridge that was to link Chiredzi Town with my constituency was blown away by Cyclone Eline. At times, people would ask me, if the bridge was somewhere close to Harare, was it not going to be built? Those people out there, in my constituency, which constitute 65% of Shangani, 15% Karanga, 10% Venda, 10% Ndebele, feel that they are neglected. It is through this august House that something has to be done.

In terms of transport, like I intimated, the constituency is more of an island. The bridge that links Chiredzi South with civilisation was blown away fourteen years ago and the other bridge on the western side, on the Bubi River was also taken away – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chibaya, I do not have to remind you again to keep quiet. Otherwise, I will throw you out of this House. You may resume your debate hon. member.

MR. GWANETSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was saying my constituency is more of an island. The only bridge that links my constituency with civilisation or with the service…

*MR. MUKWANGWARIWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Hon. Chibaya has said un-parliamentary language. He said, “ndokumamisa”.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please. Hon. Chibaya, may you leave this Chamber please – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

MR. CHIBAYA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I never said that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: May you please leave the House?

MR. CHIBAYA: Kunaani kwandazvitaura? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Members sitting on the left of the Chair sang a song … into oyenzayo siyayizonda,

Mr. Chibaya was escorted out of the House by the Sergeant-at- Arms.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: You may resume your debate hon. Member

MR. GWANETSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I was actually talking about the transportation system in the Chiredzi South Constituency…

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Wadyajena varikutaura kuti ndinokucheka musoro.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. member, did you say so?

MR. WADYAJENA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. Ataura izvozvo ndi Hon. Chibaya.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. member, kana mazvitaura zvakanaka kuti mukumbire ruregerero.

MR. WADYAJENA: Mr. Speaker Sir, ndinotenda nemashoko enyu. Asi zvekucheka musoro handina kuzvitaura.

MRS. MAHOKA: Nyaya yaitika ndeyekuti pasumuka Hon. member vakamira apo, Hon. Chibaya ndovataura kuti ndinokucheka musoro. Chokwadi pamberi paMwari.

*THE ACTING SPEAKER: The words that you said are seriously taken into consideration because they are words of threat. For that reason we need to behave like hon. members. I am not yet through. I appeal to you to act in an honourable manner.

MR. D. P. SIBANDA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, I realise that after you made a ruling, the hon. member did not withdraw and neither did he apologise. With all due respect, I realise that whilst Hon. Chibaya was not even given room to respond to the allegation, a ruling was made…

THE ACTING SPEAKER: I have made a ruling and my ruling stands. You are now not respecting the Chair. May you please resume your seat?

MR. GWANETSA: I was saying that Chiredzi South Constituency resembles an island where the only bridge that links the constituency with Chiredzi town was destroyed by Cyclone Eline in 2000 and to date, it has not been repaired. This is further compounded by the other bridge on the western side of Bubi River, it also was destroyed.

As it looks today, because of Tokwe-Mukorsi, my people from Chiredzi South have been using a causeway. For the next six months because of the flooded Tokwe-Mukorsi, that causeway is not going to be used. I have the mandate of the people to represent them in this House and I have to represent their concerns. In terms of their transport problems, they are in a demise situation. In all respects, development of any area hinges on transportation. We cannot have access to the service centre that is Beitbridge. Therefore, in that part of the country, development as it were, comes at the lowest ebb.

Let me move on in terms of communication. The constituency that I represent is more of a South African Constituency in terms of communication. They cannot access television, radio and any means of communication. Therefore, they rely on the South African system. On that aspect, they are more of South African people as we are saying nothing impacts on them.

It is also common knowledge that three quarters of Gonarezhou lies within my constituency and therefore, the country as it were, loses a lot of revenue because of lack of communication. Nothing has been said about marketing of the Gonarezhou and therefore, the country as it is losing a lot of revenue. When we talk of Gonarezhou, we are also talking of the Transfrontier, the biggest animal sanctuary south of the Equator where we have the three countries putting up together in terms of animal conservation. But, from the start of the Great Transfrontier, on the Mozambican side, there were no animals even on the South African side. Most of the animals were in Zimbabwe.

As it stands today, most of the animals are now in Mozambique and South Africa as you are aware, animals do not have boundaries. We are saying, it is Zimbabwe that was supposed to gain or raise revenue but we are losing revenue. Not only that, even if tourists were to come to that part of the country, they would not want to venture into a place which is incommunicado. Therefore, I appeal through this august House that the communication aspect be put in place. I believe, if at all, the Hon. Minister, Jonathan Moyo was to be in this House, he was going to look at that aspect and try to assist to alleviate that problem in that area.

Moving on to education, Mr. Speaker Sir, in my constituency when we talk of e-learning, it is non- existent. There is no electricity and even if I were to be given computers today, I was not going to give them to anybody because they were going to be of no use and therefore, we are saying the whole population is in a derelict state. We are having kids who are left behind. We talk of this country as a country that is number one in terms of literacy but here I am saying, from Runde down to Limpopo without communication and energy, we are left behind in terms of e-learning.

Also, because of the poor state of the road network and lack of communication, the Government cannot entice professionals to that part of the country. You cannot entice teachers, nurses and transport operators to that part of the country and that part of the country is also part of Zimbabwe, and therefore, something has to be done from the coffers of the country. Let me move on to health Mr. Speaker Sir. There are a number of challenges that beset the health delivery system on the southern part of this country. The constituency has got only one mission hospital where even the renowned ‘Father Zimbabwe’ and the two late Vice Presidents were getting their medication from Chikombedzi. If you get to that place today, it is also in a derelict state. The constituency has got 14 clinics, but I am saying without good communication and the poor state of the roads, those clinics are manned by non or semi-skilled professionals. It was our view from that part of the country to resuscitate Chikombedzi Mission Hospital so that we can also train nurses and redeploy them within their home area and constituency and I believe the country can also benefit from that venture. If that nursing school was going to be resuscitated, it was going to be the only recognisable training institution south of Runde.

Hon. members, I appeal through this House, that that part of the country where I am saying it is an enclave where I have 65% of the Shangani people. They feel so neglected because services that we get in other parts of the country are not provided in that part of the country.

Let me now move on to tourism. Mr. Speaker Sir, my constituency houses the second largest animal sanctuary in this country, second from the Hwange National Park. I am also saying, it is also part of my constituency that houses the biggest sanctuary haven south of the Equator. I am also saying, all animals within that sanctuary emanated or were from Zimbabwe but it is now Mozambique or South Africa that are benefitting out of the resources of Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker Sir, our country is losing revenue because we have not put up the facilities or infrastructure. Up to when shall we or the country continue to lose revenue?

Mr. Speaker Sir, when I talk of Gonarezhou, this is home to Gonakudzingwa Restriction Camp. If it was in South Africa, that was going to be the Robben Island. It was going to be an attraction centre for tourists. Father Zimbabwe hailed from that part of the country. Baba vaMsika hailed from that part of the country. Baba John Landa Nkomo was at that place and therefore, if at all that place was going to be upgraded, it was going to be a tourist attraction centre. It is only us, who do not recognise our history. We are a people who have got to build on our own history and therefore, structures have to be put in there and it becomes part and parcel of our tourist attraction centres. It is part of our heritage and is part of our history.

Mr. Speaker, I said I represent Chiredzi South but I also represent Masvingo in my position as Chairman of the ruling party. Can I take this opportunity to thank the man with the fist of fury for having declared Tokwe-Mukorsi a disaster? May I also thank the international community and the corporate world in taking heed of the call by His Excellency the President? Thank you so much for what you donated. It was from that aspect that I could feel we are Zimbabweans. I was going to think, it was from the same hymn book that we sing from. We are Zimbabweans and we should sing the same song that sanctions must go!

Having said that, Mr. Speaker Sir, it is through the work of His Excellency that we have the largest in-land dam in Masvingo but there is another dam in Mwenezi. When I visited that dam in October, it was 80% full when it was expected to be at least 15 to 20%. What it meant was that, the purpose for which that dam was built was not realised. If we do not utilise the water of Tokwe-Mukorsi, the people of Masvingo are saying, it was going to make Masvingo to be the bread basket of the region.

However, let me thank the three lead ministries; Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation an Irrigation Development. They are in the area of Chingwizi trying to put up the structures. We can have all those waters but if we do not have the infrastructure, the canals and the overnight storage dams, that water is going to rot. Mvura iyoyo ichawora. It is up to us as Government to put our resources and thoughts together, and then it is going to be of full utility.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish also to thank our friends, the people of Namibia. When they heard that there was disaster in Masvingo, they came. Those are our all weather friends. The demise that we are having, Mr. Speaker Sir, yes I was talking of a constituency – Chiredzi; I was talking about Masvingo, all the problems that we see, all the developments that we were expecting are not forthcoming because of sanctions – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
[Time limit]

MS. ZINDI: Mr. Speaker, I propose that the hon. member’s time be extended.

MS. MAHOKA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MR. GWANETSA: Thank you so much Mr. Speaker Sir. I was debating in relation to a remote place called Chiredzi South; it is so remote. The last time that the constituency witnessed a high ranking official from Zimbabwe was in 2007 during a by-election. To date, not even a single Minister has gone to that place. How then do we entice development? The only two Ministers we saw within those seven years was Hon. E.D. Mnangagwa who took an hour landing at Chilonga. The second Minister who got as far as Limpopo is Cde. S. Sekeramayi, last year in November on a demining mission. I wish to thank the two Ministers. For the past seven years, not even a single Minister has been there. Hon. members, the people feel neglected.

Lastly, let me conclude by explaining why great strides are being intended by the Government. Hindrances in terms of sanctions and corruption are killing our country. Sanctions are disastrous and they kill.

From the liberation struggle, people who died because of sanctions are more than those who died during the liberation struggle. Let us sing from the same hymn book so that we can actually witness and reap the fruits of what we fought for. Corruption is also cancerous; it is cancerous to the economy. It is up to us as Zimbabweans to guard against corruption and it is only then that we can say ZIM ASSET can proceed.

I would want to thank His. Excellency, the President, and all those who work with him in bringing about a tool called ZIM ASSET. Hon. members, ZIM ASSET is the way to go. It is the only way to deal with sanctions. I think we borrowed it from the Cuban crises of 1963; we are not going to fail.

*MR. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. The hon. member was talking about the Tokwe-Mukorsi floods. As Members of Parliament, we have never thought of going to see the Tokwe-Murkosi disaster. What kind of Parliamentarians are we, if we do not go there to see the extent of the disaster? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, hon. members. There is no point of order. May you proceed?

MR. GWANETSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I think it is in order. I thanked everybody from the highest office on the land and the corporate world that we did the best we could do in terms of Tokwe- Mukorsi.

I was winding off by saying, ZIM ASSET is a journey that we borrowed from Cuba. Today, we are receiving doctors and engineers from Cuba. Cuba has been under sanctions from 1963 to date and therefore, we are saying sanctions are there but we will be bold and resolute. For those that are calling for the sanctions, as Zimbabweans we are saying, we are bold and resolute. We are going to follow behind the man with a fist; the fist of fury. We are going to win. Pasi nemasanctions! Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

(33 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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