OPPOSITION parties and civil society groups in Matabeleland have roundly condemned Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and accused him of singing for his supper, after he recently dismissed the region’s marginalisation narrative as a myth.
BY SILAS NKALA
Mphoko recently said all Zimbabweans are equal regardless of province, region, language or ethnicity and are entitled to the same services, which every citizen should enjoy.
His remarks have drawn fire from human rights and political activists from Matabeleland, who dismissed him as ill-informed and out to please his Zanu PF handlers.
MDC deputy spokesperson, Mbuso Siso yesterday said Mphoko was one person who should not be taken seriously, as he was singing for his super.
“I don’t remember from his term in office hearing him speak sense. He is one person that would say something that benefits himself and not Matabeleland,” he said.
“Mphoko has even failed to convince his friends that he dines with, at least to construct the Bulawayo-Nkayi road to his own place of birth.”
Siso questioned why devolution had not been implemented, which he believed Mphoko should be pushing for.
“They continue to impose these so-called Ministers of State in provinces, who are illegal when Chapter 14 of the Constitution is clear on the appointment of provincial chairpersons; that would have ended marginalisation,” he said.
Zapu deputy spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa said some provinces had been marginalised since independence.
“It has been clinically institutionalised and implemented by the current establishment, even without a law to allow it,” he said.
“This is why they were silent about marginalisation, while those in Matabeleland were making noise all along, hence, the stereotyping of the issue to be that of Matabeleland only.
“For Mphoko not to see this blatant social ill only proves he really uses his belly to think.
“He’s only trying to find relevance with those who are perpetuating marginalisation and Zezuru hegemony manifesting as the G40 faction in Zanu PF.”
Maphosa said Mphoko chooses to see the world, particularly Zimbabwe, through supremacist lens, while hiding behind the Constitution.
Ibhetshu likaZulu secretary-general, Mbuso Fuzwayo said: “There’s no development in Matabeleland and that dates back to the times of genocide and now deliberate relocation of companies.
“He (Mphoko) is in a position to address their concerns, not to oppose what the people say.
“It is a fact, not fiction, that Matabeleland is being marginalised, schools are distant from the people.
“People here don’t easily get jobs in the civil service, 99% of government workers are from the east. Government facilities such as loans and other opportunities are given to Shona-speaking people.”
People’s Democratic Party deputy spokesperson, Edwin Ndlovu said Mphoko made the remarks to safeguard his position in the hegemonic Zanu PF.
#This Constitution leader, Abigale Mupambi said Mphoko’s remarks showed how far he was out of touch with the reality.
“Maybe it is because he doesn’t have a constituency in Matabeleland, he is confused as to who he should serve,” she said. “It’s a pity to have a Vice-President who is this lost.”
Lucia Matibenga-led People’s Democratic Party Bulawayo’s organiser, Bekithemba Nyathi said Mphoko had been swallowed by a tribal system in Zanu PF and was now being used to a culture of deliberate marginalisation of other regions.