ACTING President Phelekezela Mphoko’s move to invite people to ask questions at a rally yesterday backfired on him after villagers in Bikita West demanded equal treatment regarding government projects including his much-publicised chicks donation programme.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
Mphoko was addressing a Zanu PF campaign rally for the ruling party’s candidate, Beauty Chabaya, ahead of Saturday’s by-election when a villager, Saliwe Mashanda, asked him to distribute government resources equally.
“Every time we watch television, we see that in Mashonaland, there are many projects implemented there. I also plead with you, VP Mphoko, to give us chicks just like you do in Bulawayo. Such donations should also come here,” she said amid applause.
Mphoko interjected, saying he started by donating incubators in Bikita. The VP has been donating chicks to residents of Bulawayo ostensibly as part of his social responsibility programme.
Others complained they had failed to tend to their fields while attending Zanu PF campaign rallies, hence, the ruling party needed to compensate them.
In response, Mphoko said it was important for leaders to listen to the people.
“We should avoid preaching to the people at rallies and giving instructions as leaders. Instead, we want to get the people’s views on the ground. We must always ask people to tell you what is the problem on the ground. But otherwise we heard everything, and we can assure you that all you raised is going to be resolved,” he said.
Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson, Amasa Nenjana, inadvertently admitted the ruling party was using government programmes to woo voters.
“It is you, VP, who gave the people the edge after you gave them seed and fertiliser, your people are happy. Others accuse Zanu PF of vote-buying, but it is just a coincidence that we are giving people inputs at a time when a by-election is on the way. We have a tradition, as a party, of helping the people. These other parties can do the same,” he said.
Chief Marozva said at least 23 000 people were benefiting from the food aid ahead of the poll.
Meanwhile, opposition ZimPF leader Joice Mujuru will today also descend on Bikita West to campaign for party candidate Kudakwashe Gopo.