Constituency Spotlight


Epworth constituency – MP – Eliah Jembere MDC-T

Epworth has a population of between 400 000 and 700 000 residents, most of them poor.

The politically volatile area was severely affected by violence during the 2008 elections.

Before the MDC-T MP Eliah Jembere won the seat during the 2008 parliamentary elections, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Amos Midzi was the MP.

People in the constituency said they know their MP was from MDC-T party, but have never met him because they are scared to attend constituency “feedback” meetings for fear of victimisation by Zanu PF youths.

As a result, the residents are not clear if the projects they see in the area are being spearheaded by Jembere as Zanu PF claims every project in the constituency.

What people said about the MDC-T MP
James Moyo — Vendor

I do not know the name of the MP, but I know he is MDC-T. During campaigns he promised funds for cross-border traders so that they get bales of clothes from Mozambique, but we have not seen that happening.

We have a serious water problem in Epworth. We have taps, but no water ever comes out and so most people rely on digging wells at their stands. Most house owners do not have title deeds and we are always threatened that we can be chased away anytime.

We do not know if we are safe and we would like our MP to represent us to higher authorities so that we get title deeds.

Three-quarters of people in Epworth do not have electricity at their homes. At Rusununguko Primary School, there are no proper structures like toilets, boreholes and schoolchildren learn seated on the floor. Many youths are unemployed; we want funding for self-help projects.

George Zimi — Carpenter at Makomo area
I lost interest in politics and have not attended any meeting called for by the MP because of fear of political violence in this area. I do not know the name of the MP, but he is MDC-T.

I am a carpenter, but as you can see I am working in an undesignated area and I often face harassment by people from the local board who say I should pay $8 per month to continue working. We would like to be allocated proper structures to work from, instead of working from the road.

We have a serious water problem, yet there is Quarry Dam which is always full of water. It is only known for people who commit suicide at the place and murders.

We would like tower lights in the area because we suffer a lot of robberies. We are scared to attend any meetings called by the MP because Zanu PF youths come door to door to fish out all those that attended the MDC-T meetings.

There is a lot of political friction and people cannot even get allocated housing stands because of political squabbles.

Susan Chakanetsa — Hairdresser at Makomo area

We know Morgan Tsvangirai, but we do not know the MP for the area. We need electricity in Epworth and if he manages to do that, we will vote him back in the forthcoming elections.

Lack of electricity leads to Epworth being looked down upon in Harare. As women, we need funding for projects because most of us here are single mothers.

If Tsvangirai cannot bring funding for projects, then he should look for husbands for us.
The situation at schools is very bad because teachers shun our children since we are poor and cannot pay their incentives.

The roads are full of potholes yet there are too many kombis.

We have heard of Zanu PF meetings, but whenever an MDC-T meeting is called for, we are very scared to attend for fear of victimisation after the meeting.

Response by the MP

My supporters are scared to attend meetings. I have implemented a lot of projects for the constituency, but they do not know because they fear to be seen even at groundbreaking ceremonies.

I put a sub-station near the local board offices and this will help even Ruwa.

Electricity will soon be transmitted to houses. There was no sub-station in the area since independence. We have asked Zesa not to load-shed Epworth for 10 years since the people have suffered a lot.

I have spoken to the Australian Embassy so that we put a durawall with broken bottles on top at Quarry Dam to deter criminals from accessing the area.

Netherlands and Australia have promised aid in the form of building a water purification plant at the dam. We also built Overspill Clinic in Seke district, through donations from the Netherlands.

We graded roads in all wards and refilled them. Markets were also built in every ward, except Ward 7, which is run by a Zanu PF councillor, who refused us access to his ward.

We bought computers for Makomo Primary School and at Zinyengere Primary School, we bought a generator.

We donated 18 000 bricks to a police post, but they later asked us to come and remove the bricks because they were being threatened by Zanu PF youths for taking bricks from an MDC-T MP.

The bricks were then taken to Batanai Primary school where they were used to build a classroom block.

It is difficult to mobilise people in the constituency to attend meetings. During the 2008 elections, 123 houses were destroyed, a lot of people disappeared and women were raped.

Zanu PF people always threaten residents that if they do not vote for them, they will lose their houses since they do not have title deeds.

We have said no one will be displaced except those who built their structures on top of water pipes and on areas designated for roads.