Bernard Chiketo 5 April 2018
HARARE – Former Manicaland minister of State Mandi Chimene’s constituency
was heavily neglected despite her powerful position in government and the
ruling Zanu PF party with impassable roads and women giving birth under
candlelight in some clinics.
Speaking on the sidelines of a sports gala at Mavhudzi High School over
the weekend, aspiring Zanu PF member of Parliament for Makoni South
Misheck Mataranyika said it was surprising that anyone would fail to
deliver on the things that are affecting the constituency.
Mataranyika, who claimed he was not yet campaigning despite having
submitted his CV for consideration said he discovered the appalling state
of development in the constituency as he moved around assessing its needs.
“To begin with, this constituency looks neglected. There are a lot of
things that I want to do whether I’m appointed as the representative of
the constituency or not. To begin with . . . the road network, it’s now in
a terrible state so we need to fix the roads.
“Then there are things like clinics, for example I was at Mukamba and I
was shocked that right now, women are giving birth using candlelight and
obviously it’s unacceptable by any standards.
So, I’m going to do everything within my means to ensure that they have a
transmitter, I’m sure that’s what is lacking,” Mataranyika said.
He also said the communal parts of the constituency badly needed water to
aid its farming activities.
“If you want to have meaningful development you need to ensure that you
have water, so I’m looking at maybe coming up with dams especially in the
rural areas as opposed to the resettlement areas where they have dams
being former commercial farming areas. Without water you can’t do
He denied that such promises were lofty by any stretch of the imagination.
“Elsewhere you see these things happen, so why not in Makoni South? I
don’t think I even made promises that are beyond reach. All it needs is
for someone to go and knock on the right doors so that can’t be a high
“I don’t think having roads done and dams is too high a promise to the
people. They expect those things and deserve them.
“All I’m promising is to do the right things that a representative of the
people should do,” Mataranyika said.
His family – which comes from Rukweza in the constituency, has been
supporting the entire Makoni area through their company, Nyaradzo Life
Assurance’s corporate social responsibility programme’s “Friends of the
Environment”, which has reached virtually every household.
Mataranyika, who is employed in the family business as its legal manager,
has been in charge of its activities in Makoni West.
Makoni rural households have an average monthly income of only $26 and are
living off alms that an international aid organisation unveiled in 2017.
World Vision (WV), which has been supporting the community with food aid,
says if the average income is so low it means some families are
perpetually dependent on handouts with little hope of escape in a country
whose poverty datum line is around $500.
“A baseline survey we conducted showed that the average monthly income per
household currently stands at $26
“Most households depend on donor handouts – this all points to abject
“We are trying to increase average income to around $100 which we hope to
achieve through various interventions,” Amon Matsongoni WV northern
regional manager said then.
The constituency was orphaned after Chimene disappeared from the political
scene following the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe after a
military intervention and as Parliament moved to impeach him while she was
out of the country.
She was later expelled from the party for being part of the Generation 40
(G40) cabal which was opposed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascension
to the presidency and her whereabouts are as yet unknown.