OPPOSITION parties and civil society groups in Matabeleland have saluted Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, MDC’s proportional representation legislator for Matabeleland South, for single-handedly championing the region’s concerns in Parliament at a time most local elected legislators are lethargic.
BY SILAS NKALA
Misihairabwi-Mushonga has, on several occasions, ruffled feathers in the Lower House with her motions on Gukurahundi and marginalisation of the Matabeleland region.
But the sentiments are in stark contrast to recent claims by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko that no region in the country was marginalised.
Ibhetshu likaZulu secretary-general, Mbuso Fuzwayo said Misihairabwi-Mushonga has represented Matabeleland fairly better than most legislators from the region.
“It is unfortunate because our people don’t care about competence, it’s about parties. If it was competence, there’s nowhere people can fail to identify her,” he said.
“She has represented the concerns of Matabeleland, not at rallies, but to the government, unlike some who talk about Matabeleland only on the streets.
“I hope all aspiring legislators learn one or two things from her.”
#ThisConstitution leader, Abigale Mupambi concurred: “It is unfortunate that most of these elected people are redundant, just place holders, actually activists in the region and people like Misihairabwi-Mushonga are pushing regional issues far much better than some of these elected MPs.
“Going forward, she must take the race to the ballot and represent a constituency, because she is proving her capacity, particularly on the marginalisation of Matabeleland.”
MDC deputy spokesperson, Mbuso Siso said: “We really need MPs that are competent that will be eager to address Matabeleland issues that have affected us since independence.
“We need people like the late Sidney Malunga in Parliament, not only to address regional issues, but development in the southern region.
“We have had serious mistakes that have been affecting selection of councillors as well, which really need to be looked at again.”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga fell out with her party and was on the verge of being axed, something that was not lost on Siso.
“It is very unfortunate that she has been against her party of late in terms of the alliance,” he said.
“She has come out in public rubbishing it, which might lead her to a political demise if she does not put her house in order.”
Shalom Project director, Anglistone Sibanda said most MPs from the region were self-serving and unable to articulate issues affecting Matabeleland.
“Misihairabwi-Mushonga needs back-up from civil society, who should amplify the voices of the poor and marginalised,” he said. “We need just a few more MPs like her to push for the development of the region.”