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Matienga not shining in Sunningdale

Sunningdale constitutes two wards; it is one of the few communities to have made progress in addressing environmental issues.

Sunningdale constitutes two wards; it is one of the few communities to have made progress in addressing environmental issues. By MUNESU NYAKUDYA

Most Sunningdale residents are low income earners. The constituency also includes some parts of Mbare and Ardbennie.

Problems in the constituency that the MP Margaret Matienga (MDC-T) could highlight in Parliament include:

lWater shortages (Local Government minister)

lDilapidated road infrastructure (Transport or Local Government ministers)

lInadequate recreation facilities (Sports and Culture minister)

lPower cuts (Energy minister)

lUnemployment (Local Government minister)

Performance of the MP

Matienga sits in the Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Youth and Indigenisation and the Public Accounts Parliamentary Portfolio Committees.

In the National Assembly, she has contributed to some debate and asked questions here and there, but she certainly cannot be adjudged as a vocal MP.

The MP needs to put more effort in terms of contributions to debate in the National Assembly, as she is not a new MP after serving in the Seventh Parliament. She now understands parliamentary procedure.

What people from Sunningdale said about their MP:

Ester Baston (ward 12)

I know the MP and her work in the constituency. She drilled boreholes in our community and bought chairs and desks for local schools. I think she is competent because I see her on several occasions, raising issues that affects us as Sunningdale residents in Parliament.

Evelyn Mabika (Ward 12)

We see her every day because she stays in here in Sunningdale. She connects with the people and at times she visits families, especially at funerals where she provides food and support.

Pride Tsusa (Ward 10)

Personally, I feel the MP is not doing enough for the constituency. We don’t know her. There is no development in our constituency, and there is nothing that she has done. If she wins the elections this time around, it will be because people will be voting for the party not for her as an individual.

General Kadau (Ward 10)

We were surprised to see her during the voter registration exercise. That is when we learnt that Matienga is our MP, when she introduced herself. We wish we could meet our MP regularly so that we tell her our concerns.

Charles Hwerere (Ward 10)

We only voted for Matienga because she was an MDC-T member, but now we have seen that she is incompetent. This time we are not voting for her and whoever comes should bring their curriculum vitae, so that we can see if they are competent.

Alfred Chinete (Ward 12)

Personally, I only see her on posters when it’s around election time. The last time she came was during voter registration. She is just a visiting MP.

Matienga’s response

During my first term as MP (Seventh Parliament) I got Constituency Development Funds (CDF), and I used it to drill four boreholes in ward 12. I also bought chairs and desks for Mbare High School, Shingirai and Nharira primary schools, and then I bought a water tank for George Stark High School.

In ward 10, I drilled three boreholes at Sunningdale 1 and 2 primary schools. These were vandalised before use. I renovated the public toilets at Sunningdale 2 shopping centre. But, because of jealousy from my male counterparts who were signatories to the CDF, I did not do anything more which resulted in some of the funds taken back by the ministry.

I also bought two peanut butter-making machines for some of the women in the constituency. It is very difficult to get funds with the economic situation we are facing, so it was very difficult to do any projects. However, I made it a point to attend funerals in the constituency regardless of political affiliation. I also buy groceries for the bereaved families.

When I receive the CDF this time, I will first consult people in my constituency on the projects they want to be undertaken.

The biggest challenge that I have is that I do not have a constituency development office and a secretary to assist me due to lack of funds.