Masvingo West constituency: MP Tichaona Chiminya Mharadze (MDC-T)
The constituency also covers the now defunct Mashava Mines.
What people said about their MP Edward Mutavati (60), a farm owner from Chishawasha West, said:
The MP is not visible.We do not have much help from him. But he is, however, available and accessible, even though he does not hold regular meetings.
We face challenges of drinking water and we travel long distances to get water because some of the boreholes are aged and need repair.
Eline Hasha, a vegetable vendor at Bhuka business centre, 25 kms out of Masvingo, said: I know him and I have attended several meetings he has called for. Maybe it is because I am based at a business centre where word reaches us first.
He attends to our problems. If our boreholes break down, he always helps us. Even if he does not come in person, he makes sure that they are attended to, she said.
Munyaradzi Sinamai (50), a plot holder and wheat farmer from Mushandike Irrigation Scheme who depends on irrigation from Mushandike Dam, blasted Mharadze saying:
I do not see what the MP is doing when we do not have water for irrigating our wheat plots.
We need water to be drawn from Mhuzhwi Dam because Mushandike Dam is drying up.
All the MPs including those from Zanu PF who came into this area, always said they would help us in the project, but no-one has ever delivered.
We are also running out of grazing land because too many people have been resettled here, he said.
Tawanda Bere (28), an illegal gold panner from Village 5B we caught up with at Zvehuru business centre, said: We are unemployed and depend on illegal mining.
The police are always chasing us, yet this is our survival. Our MP needs to lobby the police to leave us alone.
Even if he calls for meetings or comes, we have no time for that we will be in the mine shafts.
Ephraim Shamuyashe, a cross-border trader who runs a market stall at Sipambi business centre, said the MP was more accessible compared to his predecessors.
Others would vanish after we voted them into power. He tries to attend to our problems as much as possible. I have no complaints so far. Maybe in the future, he said.
Rosemary Mareva (33), a former Mashava Mines employee, said the MP was trying his best.
The MP stood by us and tried to have the mines functioning, although he failed.
During public outreach meetings to hear about problems facing the mines, he was always present. At one time when we were cut off by Zesa, he negotiated with the power utility to have electricity restored. I do not know with others. That is all I can say, she said.
Response by the MP
I regularly call for meetings and report back to the electorate, but the problem is that of polarisation. Some people snub the meetings because I am from the MDC-T.
On the issue of boreholes, we rehabilitated more that 40 boreholes which are now functioning and drilled new ones for other areas.
When we delay to attend to broken-down boreholes, it is because the District Devlopment Fund technicians would have reacted slowly because of politics.
Everything is now politicised and they fear being labelled MDC-T, so sometimes they do not fix the boreholes.
In one incident, some suspected Zanu PF youths sabotaged a borehole we had just repaired because they did not want credit to come to me.
If you ask people in Village 5B, they will tell you I was assessing a broken-down borehole on Wednesday (last week). On Friday, I should be going there with my own technicians to fix two boreholes.
On the issue of drawing water from Mhuzhwi Dam, that is a multi-million-dollar project which cannot be covered by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The CDF is just too little, considering that it had competing needs.
We were much focused on boreholes because the issue of drinking water was the most pressing one, though we rehabilitated schools like Mamvura Primary, where we also bought building materials.
We also painted some schools and bought furniture for others. Judged fairly, I think I am doing all my best for the constituency.