Southerton is a constituency located in Harare and has only two wards. It is one of the capitals’ economic hubs, as it is surrounded by industrial areas and several banks.
By MUNESU NYAKUDYA
The constituency also has one of the country’s oldest and biggest referral hospitals, Harare Central Hospital, which mostly caters for the under-privileged members of society.
Problems in the constituency that the MP could highlight in Parliament as oral or written questions include:
lInadequate schools (Primary and Secondary minister)
lDilapidated road infrastructure (Transport or Local Government minister)
lWater shortages (Local Government minister)
lHigh youth unemployment (Home Affairs minister)
lLack of equipment, drugs at Harare Central Hospital (Health minister)
Performance of the MP in Parliament
Gift Chimanikire, a former Mines deputy minister, is one of the vocal MPs from MDC-T in Parliament.
He has raised several issues in portfolio committees and in the National Assembly pertaining to problems affecting the people.
One of the issues Chimanikire raised was about former President Robert Mugabe, whom he said was now a liability and embarrassment to the country, as he could hardly walk, but wanted to continue clinging on to power.
The MP is well-versed with different subjects from business to security issues and has used that expertise to contribute to debate in the National Assembly.
Chimanikire sits in the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs and the Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.
What people from Southerton said about their MP?
Owen Tomah (New Stands)
For years, we have been living here, we have watched this place deteriorating. The problem that we have is that MPs do not come back to the people after we vote them into power. They do not come back to initiate development for the constituency.
The MP is doing nothing for Southerton. We don’t even know what he looks like. He never comes to hold meetings with us. The only meetings we see happening are Zanu PF meetings. We have never had meetings about developing our community.
Samantha Chihota (New Stands)
When the MP gets the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) we want projects like the building of a library in this area. We want him to raise issues in Parliament like that we only have one primary school and our children have to walk long distances. We don’t have a secondary school, but we have a private school, which is expensive. Most of the children, who go to high school have to board kombis every day, yet we have enough land to build a secondary school. These are the things that we expect our legislator to raise in Parliament.
Patrick Munda (New Stands)
The problem is that our MP doesn’t live here, and he is not from our area. We don’t know him; he doesn’t come back to the constituency. So in the next elections we want to vote in someone, who resides in Southerton. We want someone, whom we can go and knock at his gate and demand that he does something for us. The case right now is that our MP is missing and we don’t even know where to find him.
Zeddy Whites (Old Stands)
Our neighbourhood has deteriorated and we don’t even know who is in charge. There is no borehole to assist as an alternative source of water when the taps run dry. When there is no water, we have to walk long distances. Sometimes I think it’s better not to have an MP, because once we vote for them they don’t come back to do what they promised.
Tafadzwa Chikonye (Old Stands)
I think we just voted for our MP because of the party he is affiliated to (MDC-T). We thought because of that he was going to produce results, but he has proven to be incompetent. So right now I think the best option is to vote for someone who knows what he is doing.
Ruvarashe Chirairo (Old Stands)
Next year, we are not voting for him. We have changed and we want someone new, who knows what he is doing. Chimanike is just incompetent and he should not dare contest. When they receive CDF allocation they should prioritise roads and at least develop our shopping centre.
Response by the MP
When I receive the CDF allocation, I will give priority to economic and empowerment programmes, which involve vegetable gardening, piggery and poultry rearing.
I will also engage in various assistance programmes targeting vulnerable members in out constituency at orphanages, the disabled, as well as the down-syndrome groups within the Harare Hospital environs.
My constituency has two wards and I visit each of them at least twice a month for structural meetings. As for consultative meetings and funerals as and whenever they occur – I give money, foodstuffs and transport for burials to the needy.