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Will there be life in the next Parliament?

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ZANU PF candidates who won the Parliamentary elections say they are raring to go and have many plans for their constituencies.

VENERANDA LANGA

They are optimistic that the session will be productive.

However, their MDC-T counterparts feel that inasmuch as they will be out to defend the ideals of their party and raise developmental motions, they felt betrayed to get into a Parliament where they will work with people they believed stole the elections from their party. The following are excerpts of what MPs-elect said.

Settlement Chikwinya — Mbizo Constituency MP-elect (MDC-T)
During campaigns, I had so many hopes that I would be an MP under an MDC government as this would have enabled me to execute all the plans that I had for the constituency with the support of my president and ministers.

However, it is unfortunate now that so little can be expected from MPs under a Zanu PF government which has a record of failing to work with MPs that can deliver change in our communities. My focus now is to engage the donor community who I hope may come in and assist our communities, otherwise by having a Zanu PF government, Zimbabwe has retrogressed back to the days of pre-2008.

In Parliament, I will continue to raise motions specifically targeting areas where Zanu PF committed itself during the campaign period.
(President Robert) Mugabe must increase civil servants’ salaries, water bills must be scrapped, industries must open, hospitals must deliver healthcare facilities; schools must have books and desks.

As an MP, it remains my responsibility to provide oversight to the executive and so I will raise all the motions necessary — although I know for certain that Zanu PF and Mugabe have never respected MPs and the people since they do not derive their mandate from a free and fair plebiscite where people were supposed to have truly spoken.

I do not see much debate in the Eighth Parliament, and for me it will be an insult of my intelligence to spend time and energy debating with people like (Joseph) Chinotimba (Buhera South), Owen Mdha Ncube (Gokwe Kana) or Blackman Matambanadzo (Kwekwe Central). Depending on the motion on the order paper I see little debate in this parliament.

Simbaneuta Mudarikwa — Uzumba Constituency MP-elect (Zanu PF)
The Eighth Parliament will be more progressive. However, the fact that Zanu PF has a majority does not change anything.

As an MP, my plans are to further the principles of the party which have to do with the improvement of the generality of welfare of Zimbabweans.
At a Zanu PF congress in 1964 in Gweru, it was agreed people needed emancipation in issues to do with health, education and others.

Now Zanu PF will be furthering another emancipation agenda of indigenisation where people will directly own resources. In my constituency, I would like to expand that by increasing productivity in farming.

We are the biggest producers and suppliers of vegetables and as an MP, I will work at improving the quality of those vegetable products. Our people should not be importing vegetables.

We want the Ministry of Agriculture to develop technology so that Uzumba has high yields of tomatoes, and we also want to develop our irrigation schemes. In order to mitigate the migration of youths from rural areas to urban areas, we are going to introduce industries whereby the products we produce are processed.

Gold panning must also be legalised and it is one thing that I am going to push in Parliament to ensure there is massive participation in mining by our rural people. There is also need to do away with the ban on exportation of raw chrome and we have more than 10 million tonnes of chrome reserves sitting idle. Those are the issues I am going to push for during the Eighth Parliament. I do not have ambitions for a ministerial post yet — I only want to serve the people of Uzumba.

Margaret Matienga — Sunningdale Constituency MP-elect (MDC-T)
Sunningdale is an old constituency made up of Mbare Ward 12 and Sunningdale Ward 10. There is a very high rate of unemployment and most of the youths there have nothing to do. I cannot foresee the Zanu PF indigenisation agenda doing anything to help those youths as beneficiaries are selected along political party lines.

During the Seventh Parliament, I tried to get loans for youth projects from banks, but the conditions were very harsh.

As an MP during the Eighth Parliament, I want to fight to ensure loans for projects are much more accessible to the youths. I also want to continue projects like the improvement of infrastructure at schools and recreation facilities.

In terms of debate in Parliament, I want to fight for media reforms because we are still operating under an oppressive media as a country. We want the State media to cover all political parties.

Oppressive laws like the Public Order and Security Act should be repealed or amended and I am one of the persons who are going to speak out on those issues.

However, this Eighth Parliament is not likely to be effective because we are entering after the shocking revelation of stolen elections by Zanu PF.

I used to chair the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women, Gender and Community Development, but I am not looking forward to any post this time around because if MDC-T agrees to get into posts together with the Zanu PF government, people will misjudge us as they (Zanu PF) are failures.

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