Overview of the constituency
MOST Epworth residents are generally poor and live in dilapidated houses without water and electricity supplies.
They survive on vending and informal trading.
PARLY SPOTLIGHT WITH MUNESU NYAKUDYA
The constituency has three secondary schools, Epworth High, Domboramwari High and Muguta Secondary.
It is also one of the areas that is said to have the highest prevalence rate of HIV.
Many children and adolescents are out of school, hence, they end up taking drugs, alcohol and girls end up engaging in prostitution.
Many children from Epworth are also known for living on the streets, or even being used by their parents to become street beggars instead of going to school.
It is an overcrowded suburb and crime is said to be rising. Some of the well-known people to come from Epworth are artistes like Freddie “Kapfupi” Manjalima, a comedian and musician.
Problems in the constituency that Epworth legislator Zalerah Makari (Zanu PF) could highlight in Parliament as oral or written questions:
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry)
- Illegal settlements (Local Government, Rural and Urban Development ministry)
- Unserviced roads (Local Government, Rural and Urban Development ministry)
- Poverty (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry)
- Health and sanitation (Health and Child Care ministry)
- High child school dropouts (Primary and Secondary Education ministry)
The Epworth legislator has not been raising some of these issues and is one of the silent MPs in Parliament despite the fact that she is very competent and eloquent in the use of the English language.
Asked to explain why she was not active during parliamentary debates, Makari responded: “I have not been very active in parliamentary debates because during my first year as MP, I was learning. I have just completed drafting my maiden speech and you are going to be seeing a lot of my contributions during parliamentary debates.
“In Parliament, we do not only ask questions about constituency problems, we ask policy issues. When it comes to my constituency, I am a hands-on person. I go to ministries and partner with non-governmental organisations to make sure problems are solved.”
What people in Epworth said about their MP?
Jameson Musiwenyu (Chiremba)
We would like the MP to raise issues such as poor housing infrastructure in Epworth.
Most of the people, who stay in this area, are poor, hence, they have a problem in terms of building proper houses.
They just build temporary structures, and so when it rains, the houses are easily affected. People end up sleeping outside during the rainy season.
Mallen Samson (Komboni Yatsva)
The MP is not really raising issues such as that in Epworth, most of the children do not go to school. Their parents cannot afford to raise enough for them to go to have a proper meal, and even to pay school fees. The schools are not that expensive. It’s $10 to $15, but we have nowhere to get the money.
Sunwork Nyandoro (Munyuki)
We know the MP, but she has not been representing us well in Parliament. We have a lot of challenges, the main one being that most of our houses are not properly registered, they are built using substandard materials and some of the people are squatters.
There are no serviced areas or roads. We do not have electricity or street lights.
Emmanuel Chidapa (Dombo raMwari)
The MP must speak out on issues such as water in Parliament. Some people buy water from those who have boreholes and they pay $2 for that water come month end.
These days, people are not getting proper help in clinics because they want money first, but no one has the
That is why you see that most of our children are now street urchins. They end up going to town to rob people and doing all sorts of things. There is no security, people are beating each other up badly.
Gabriel Gore (Stop Over)
I know the MP, but she must raise issues such as lack of qualified teachers in Epworth. You can actually see that our children know nothing and when we look at their books and schoolwork, we can see that they are not learning anything.
Courage Mapfumo (Maguta)
Epworth needs a robust MP because we have many problems such as that most children resort to prostitution to make ends meet, some of them young such that they should be doing Grade Seven. There is also a problem of child marriages
Tinashe Mazimba (Overspill)
The MP must be outspoken on water problems affecting Epworth. There are not enough boreholes, hence, the severe shortages of water. Council water comes once a month.
As you can see, things keep getting harder and harder, there is no progress. There are no jobs and children are not going to school.
MP Makari’s response
I agree that there are a lot of problems in my constituency. Nevertheless, I have also been working hard in my constituency to make sure that some things are done.
We have managed to build two schools, Mabvazuva School and Glenwood primary and secondary schools. We are also going to be opening a new clinic this week. We also have drilled 14 boreholes across the constituency.
I take 30 school children from time to time so that they can go and meet top management at different organisations so that it helps boost their confidence.
We have also launched a campaign called #StopThisNonsense, which is a campaign against child abuse. I also pay school fees for some of the children. We also have a $3 million project of building a stadium.
We have also started a regularisation programme to give people stands, and it is a work-in-progress. Most of the money I use is from my own pocket because I work, and I am a businessperson.