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Constituency Spotlight

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Pumula Constituency MP — Albert Mhlanga MDC-T
Albert Mhlanga is the Member of Parliament for Pumula constituency which comprises Pumula South, East, North and Old Pumula.

What people said about their MP
Many residents in Pumula East said they had never met their MP, but were aware of some of the development projects he had spearheaded.

Maxwell Nyoni said: “Mhlanga was supposed to maintain and develop Silwane Sports Centre in order to promote grassroots sport. This is important as it dissuades youths from roaming aimlessly.”

Keith Dumani said: “There is need for infrastructural development to be prioritised in Pumula as many buildings are now dilapidated. Buildings are in very bad shape and the problem is we neither have the power nor the money to rebuild them. During his campaign, the MP promised so many things and could he please implement and put to practice what he promised!”

Sikhangele Siziba said: “Mhlanga needs to ensure street lights are not just available, but functional. Mhlanga needs to liaise with councillors and the Bulawayo City Council to create a system where refuse is collected at least twice a month.”

Thenjiwe Bhebhe said: “There is need for MPs and local authorities to put their efforts together to ensure commuter omnibuses (kombi) do not continue to cause chaos in cities and to stop fleecing commuters by charging fares using unfair ‘cross-rates’ (exchange) between the dollar and the rand.”

Sikhumbuzo Mthetwa said Mhlanga was not in touch with developments in his area. She said: “A donor wanted to fund the construction of a market for vendors, but instead of spending his efforts towards speeding up the process of construction, the MP literally abandoned this place and went to live somewhere else. To him, Pumula is now below his standards and that is why he has left. He is a visitor here and is not interested in developing this constituency.”

Martin Moyo said when donors implement projects, Mhlanga failed to oversee them. “There was a donor who established a project that dealt with the production of candles and sewing, but it crumbled because it was not being fully monitored,” he said.

Thulani Mare said youths were the most affected by Mhlanga’s ignorance of the constituency.

“We need income generating projects, similar to the ones in Luveve. He needs to make an arrangement with the city council to allow us to sell our goods as this is our only means of sustaining our livelihoods.”

Response by the MP

Mhlanga said individuals in Pumula were entitled to their opinions as they had different interests:

“Individuals who stay in Pumula and follow the events that go on there are aware that I have done a lot for the constituency,” he said.

“I have repainted, built new toilets and renovated Godlwayo School, I have built classes at Robert Sinyoka School, replaced doors at Dumezweni School bought desk for Ngwalongwalo and renovations are underway at St Bernard’s and Amhlophe schools,” he said.

Mhlanga indicated sometimes people’s comments were influenced by political affiliation. “Some residents have political agendas which is why they are always in denial of the truth. If residents have queries, I am such a free person, they can contact me on 0772 778 861,” he said.

Mhlanga said residents who were complaining that he was not a resident of Pumula, were wrong.

“I am a proud owner of two houses, one in Gwabalanda and another in Pumula South and I have done a lot to develop Pumula constituency,” he said.
Mutasa Central Constituency MP — Trevor Saruwaka (MDC-T)

The youthful MP battled it out with and trounced Zanu-PF national women’s boss Oppah Muchinguri in the last general elections.

People in his constituency said they knew their MP and the work he had done. However, they said they wanted empowerment in the form of self-help projects.

What people said about their MP
Susan Samuriwo, Mwoyoweshumba Village
“I know the MP. He has refurbished Mwoyoweshumba Clinic by electrifying it. He helped with material to build toilets at Mwoyoweshumba Primary School. Our schools were substandard. Therefore I would like to see more work at the schools. I also want to see women empowerment through projects like gardening and poultry.”

Virginia Kasambira, Chitururamapfumo Area Ward 19
“I know the MP particularly with the work he is doing at our local clinic. I think it’s something positive to have a vibrant clinic with sufficient water supplies because that is the major challenge that we face as women.”

Sango Watson, Sango village

“I know the MP and he often calls for developmental meetings with the villagers though sometimes we fail to attend because we will be occupied in our fields. He electrified Chirovamhinga Clinic and St Babras Mission Hospital, by providing material to construct a mortuary and drilling boreholes. This is positive because we want a sound health service just like in urban areas.”

Councillor Lilian Chadzingwa

“I know the MP particularly with the work that we are jointly doing here with the council. He helps us to maintain the road network and he has promised to help us in service delivery so that we uplift Mutasa area for the benefit of our residents.”

Itayi Nyangani

“The MP calls for meeting and the community respond at other times. We have a lot of problems that we wish he could address, but for now he has done a lot because he managed to help several schools here.”

Response by the MP

“The money that we get from the government (Constituency Development Fund) is not enough to address all the problems that we have in this big constituency, though I am happy that we have managed to achieve a lot through our friends.

“However, in as much as I would like to do much in terms of uplifting this area, funds continue to be a stumbling block. I am particularly biased towards health and education institutions and when we receive money for constituency development this year I will do self-help projects.”

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