Chinotimba and Mnangagwa on potholes and corrupt tycoons


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Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa had a bit of a wrangle in the House on Wednesday when Chinotimba asked whether it was government policy to repair potholes only in areas where the bourgeoisie and the corrupt people who had money lived and not where the common people lived.

Mnangagwa, the leader of the House, went around in circles in response, saying: “Problems are not discriminatory. Verily, verily I say, each and every one of us in this august House has problems. Even if you are wealthy you have your own problems which are according to your wealth. The poor also have problems related to them according to the acquisition of their wealth.”

Feeling that his question had not been answered, Chinotimba said Mnangagwa should just have said he was not able to answer the question and deferred it until the Minister Local Government, Public Works and National Housing was available.

Mnangagwa responded:”(Chinotimba) was quite aware that I was not able to answer his question and it could only have been answered by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. What surprises me is that, despite the fact that he has no faith in me, he then re-directed that question to me and as a result, I had no option. I answered in the manner.”

 

Questions and anwers:

 

MR. CHINOTIMBA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing but since he is not in the House, I will ask the Leader of the House. If you look at areas around Harare, especially in areas where the whites and Bourgeoisie, their roads do not have potholes. If ever there is a pothole that has developed, it is quickly repaired and disappears but if we look at western areas where we have the common people, areas like Glen Norah, Highfield and Buhera, the roads are full of potholes. You cannot travel safely with your car.

So, is it the policy of councils that they only repair roads in areas where we have the Bourgeoisie and the corrupt people who have enough money to repair them but when we look at areas where common people are living, the roads are not repaired? We have a lot of potholes which disturbs traffic movement in those areas. I thank you.

THE MINISTER JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFAIRS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity to respond to the question raised by the fiery Buhera legislator. Problems are not discriminatory. Verily, verily I say, each and every one of us in this august House has problems. Even if you are wealthy you have your own problems which are according to your wealth. The poor also have problems related to them according to the acquisition of their wealth. However, I find that the hon. representative of Buhera has stood in to represent the poor people of this country but what we forgot to think of is, who is responsible for repairing these roads?

In the area where he says there are the affluent, thieves and corrupt people of this country, the roads in those areas are repaired by the people who are responsible for repairing the roads. Whereas the poor people stay where roads are not being repaired, who is responsible for repairing these roads? We would have asked them as to what they are doing about the poor state of the road. The Harare City Council is responsible for the maintenance of the roads but in this august House, we all have our own problems. However, the problem he has just mentioned is that the roads are supposed to be repaired by the local city authorities, especially when you look at areas like Buhera; it is the Buhera Rural District Council that is supposed to repair those roads.

MR. CHINOTIMBA: This is a follow up on my question, we have a Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Housing. He is the one who is responsible for councils and is also responsible for the roads. That is why, initially, I said my question would have been directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing because he is responsible for running the councils. Because he is not here, I then directed my question to the Leader of the House whom I thought would have responded by saying, “I am not able to answer the question you have asked, therefore, I will defer it until the Minister Local Government, Public Works and National Housing comes”. On the contrary, he preferred responding to my question because I had asked a very clear question to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

I will repeat the question: why is it that in the leafy suburb where the bourgeois live and where we have people attacking each other with bombs, where we have people who used to fight using arms like bombs and the whites, why is it that as soon as potholes develop on the roads, they quickly disappear? In the commonage areas where we have most of the blacks, especially some of us in this House, the potholes in those areas are not repaired on time, why? That is the question that I wanted to ask. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for giving me time to respond to the Member of Parliament representing Buhera. He was quite aware that I was not able to answer his question and it could only have been answered by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. What surprises me is that, despite the fact that he has no faith in me, he then re-directed that question to me and as a result, I had no option. I answered in the manner. I thought it would have been answered. I simply told him that the authority responsible for maintenance of the roads is the Harare City Council and therefore, if he knew I was not able to answer his question, why did he re-direct the question to me? I thank you.

(304 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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