Zengeza MP says government should not be selective when arresting land barons


0

Zengeza West Member of Parliament Simon Chidhakwa says the government should arrest all land barons, not just a few, if it is serious about eradicating corruption.

He said the barons were named in former deputy Minister of Local Government Joel Biggie Matiza’s report. It is not clear whether Matiza made the report while he was deputy minister or when he was elevated to Minister of Provincial Affairs for Mashonaland East and whether the report was ever made public.

Chidhakwa, who shocked Parliament when he said he was making his maiden speech, more than two years after he was elected, said: “I think Chitungwiza is one of the cities that was most hit by land barons, and we are happy that the government has started arresting these land barons like the Mabambas and Nyonganyongas, though there are some who are still scot-free as mentioned in former Minister, Hon. J.B. Matiza’s report.

“The law must be applied with equality without looking at who has committed the crime. We challenge government to arrest all those mentioned in Matiza’s report which the government has in its offices, if it is sincere about fishing out corruption.”

Land barons are reported to have fleeced scores of Harare and Chitungwiza residents and seem to be getting away with it.

 

Full contribution:

               

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me to contribute to this Presidential Address. Let me start by congratulating the people who voted for me in my constituency …

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members, let us lower our voices so that we hear what the hon. member is debating.

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: I would like to start by congratulating the people who voted for me in my constituency in Zengeza West, in Chitungwiza. They voted wisely for a visionary Party. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- Mr. Speaker Sir, although generally Chitungwiza is ignored by the media houses, and being allocated approximately 30 kilometers south of Harare, Chitungwiza was formed in 1978 as small dormitory town…

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. member, is that your maiden speech?

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

THE ACTNG SPEAKER: Is it so?

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: Yes.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: We will check on that. If not, I may not allow you to read your speech.

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: It is true that it is my maiden speech, I only asked questions.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: You may proceed.

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: I was saying Chitungwiza was formed in 1978 as a dormitory town of Harare. It came into existence after most black people who stayed in the townships like Highfield, Mbare, Mufakose etcetera failed to get accommodation.

Employment

Later on, a small industry was created to cater for those who could not find jobs in Harare. However, most of the people in Chitungwiza are now unemployed because of the closure of companies. About one quarter of its population was once employed by a company called Cone textiles, which was later called Modzoni and it also closed. This problem has led to informal trade by residents who are now earning a living through selling vegetables in informal markets like Chikwanha, Jambanja, Huruyadzo etcetera. We appeal to the Government to find a way to lure investors to come to resuscitate this industry in Chitungwiza. In its hay days, this company which used to be called Cone textiles used to employ about 6 000 people.

Infrastructure

Turning into infrastructure, there is only one main highway which connects Harare and Chitungwiza. This road Mr. Speaker, is seriously in need of maintenance and expansion …

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please! What is your point of order honourable? –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- We are checking on that, it is not your business. What is your point of order?

MR. MUPFUMI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe in MDC there was never a point where they won in a by-election and if they say there is a maiden speech now, the hon. member has been talking for the past two years. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Okay, just take a seat. Order please!

MR. MUPFUMI: I need to be protected hon. Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order please! Just resume your seat.

MR. MUPFUMI: The hon. member has been contributing to this august House so many times. So, this cannot be considered as a maiden speech.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order hon. members. I could hardly hear what he is trying to say. Just give him a chance and the Speaker will make a ruling out of that.

MR. MUPFUMI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe the hon. member has been contributing in this august House for so many times and this cannot be considered as a maiden speech. I believe in MDC, they have never won a by-election whereby we can consider them to be having a maiden speech. Thank you. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order! What is your point of order?

MR. MAONDERA: Thank you hon. Speaker. My point of order is, and I once stated it before. I think it is imperative that new Members of Parliament who won by-elections recently need induction so that they can grasp how we operate in this House.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Okay, just take a seat. Order, order please! You may resume your debate hon. member.

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was saying there is only one highway which connects with Harare and this road is in serious need of maintenance and expansion. It takes about two or more hours for a person to reach Harare during peak hours because of traffic congestion. In the next few years, people will not be able to come to Harare because of this congestion. We also appeal to Government to revive the railway line project which was proposed many years ago, if the transport situation in Chitungwiza is to be resolved.

The sewer system in Chitungwiza is falling apart because it was designed for very few people during those days. Even if the council repairs those sewer pipes, they easily burst because they cannot carry the load. The Government must see to it that the new sewer reticulation plant is built and new pipes installed to cater for the more than 2 million residents who now call Chitungwiza their home.

Water Supply

Turning to the issues of water, this town relies on water from Harare provided at a fee, which is far beyond the reach of ordinary people of Chitungwiza. Even though the water is found at a fee, some areas receive the precious liquid once or twice a week.

This town required about 45 mega litres of water and Harare is providing less than 30 megalitres. Residents are now relying on unprotected wells in their backyards, exposing themselves to water-borne diseases as the city has no source of clean water other than Harare. Some residents who have boreholes are now complaining that the water levels have gone down because the water table is now very low. We are urging Government to complete the construction of Muda dam that should supply Chitungwiza town with clean water.

Education

In terms of education, Chitungwiza has several schools such as Zengeza 1 High School, Seke 1 High and Nyatsime College, among others. These schools are well built and are of high standard. To my surprise, Chitungwiza has only one tertiary institution (Seke Teachers’ College) and not everyone wants to be a teacher. Some want to be doctors or engineers. I am also surprised that small towns like Marondera and Gwanda have their own universities, so does this mean that the Government wants the people of Chitungwiza to keep relying on Harare for tertiary institutions when Chitungwiza is a city? So we are urging Government to build a university in Chitungwiza in the near future.

Accommodation

Mr. Speaker Sir, I think Chitungwiza is one of the cities that was most hit by land barons, and we are happy that the Government has started arresting these land barons like the Mabambas and Nyonganyongas, though there are some who are still scot-free as mentioned in former Minister, Hon. J.B. Matiza’s report. The law must be applied with equality without looking at who has committed the crime. We challenge Government to arrest all those mentioned in Matiza’s report which the Government has in its offices, if it is sincere about fishing out corruption.

Still on the issue of accommodation, there is Nyatsime Home Project whose main aim from the beginning was to cater for those who could not find accommodation in Chi-town, but now more than seven years have passed since people paid up their money but they are still waiting for the project to kick-start. We are urging Government to speed up the Nyatsime Housing Project. When we talk to the city fathers, they say the issue is still with the Government and they have not finalised the paper work for them to start the project.

We are very happy that the Government is arresting the land barons, but what is Government doing to those who have lost their money through the land barons. We are urging the authorities to find some sort of compensation, if not, find a place to relocate them to because they paid their money and their houses were demolished. These poor people have suffered a double edged sword. So we are appealing to the Government to assist these people since some of these schemes were connected with the local authorities as some of the papers came from the local authorities. The home seekers were duped into thinking that they were undertaking legitimate transactions. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, it has been confirmed that it is his maiden speech. Hon. member, you may proceed.

MR. S. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member who was so zealous has heard for himself. I said I wanted to end by looking at the health services delivery.

Health Services

Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, looking at the health delivery services – yes, we have Chitungwiza General Hospital but to my surprise, some of the departments have been privatized such as the X-ray Department. It is now expensive for the ordinary people to access such services. These general hospitals are meant to cater for the poor, but it is no longer the case now. We are therefore urging Government to make sure that a general hospital remains a general hospital. The purpose is to cater for the poor so that they can afford minimum health services. We had people coming from surrounding places like Goromonzi and Seke for these medical services, but now it is a different story. Chitungwiza, being the second largest city, is also the poorest city. People have no money and are unable to go to hospital since other departments have been privatised and owing to high levels of unemployment. One general hospital for this sprawling city is not enough and we are appealing to Government to put plans to build another general hospital in the near future. I thank you.

(80 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *