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Ministers’ wives eye parly seats

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THE wives of Mines minister Obert Mpofu and his Water Resources counterpart Samuel Sipepa Nkomo are reportedly angling themselves to contest the next parliamentary elections by initiating development projects in their home areas, it has been learnt.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma/Dumisani Sibanda

Mpofu’s wife Sikhanyisiwe is reportedly eyeing the Bubi-Umguza senatorial seat while Nkomo’s spouse Rose is reportedly targeting the Tsholotsho North seat held by Zanu PF spin doctor Jonathan Moyo.

Mpofu is the Zanu PF MP for Umguza while Nkomo is MDC-T MP for Lobengula.

Sikhanyisiwe, a Zanu PF central committee member who has been an Umguza Rural district councillor since Independence, has embarked on several development projects targeting women and children to shore up her political image before the elections.

She is a board member of the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group that was recently acquired by her husband. Speaking at a rally in the Siganda area of Bubi at the weekend, Sikhanyisiwe said: “I am also assisting women with capital for chicken-rearing projects and loans for women to buy bales of clothes in Mozambique. They can borrow money and buy bales, then we agree on a payment method that would start three months after securing the loan.

“I am calling on you to organise yourselves if you are interested and approach my office. We do not want women to be always receiving from their husbands, but make contributions towards the family. If you ask your neighbours in Umguza, many have benefited from the programmes. I am calling on the husbands to allow their wives to engage in business initiatives.”

Rose Sipepa Nkomo has set up the Samuel-Rose Trust to assist Tsholotsho villagers with goat and chicken projects. Her initiative has been the talk of Tsholotsho with many saying she stood a good chance against Moyo in the next elections.

“The trust has penetrated Tsholotsho and Nkomo’s wife has been making various trips to Tsholotsho assisting villagers with goat and chicken projects,” a source said. “She has been donating livestock to the villagers so that they embark on self-help projects.”

Contacted for comment, Sipepa Nkomo could neither deny nor confirm that his wife was aspiring for political office. Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu said her primary concern was to develop women, “and whatever follows would happen on its own”.

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