BY GARY GERALD MTOMBENI
BINGA North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda (Citizens Coalition for Change) has claimed that Tonga people have consistently rejected Zanu PF after realising that the ruling party was not keen on developing their area.
Speaking during a live debate on Wednesday, Sibanda said to make matters worse, few Tonga people had been elevated to top government positions.
Sibanda won in the recent by-elections after he garnered 10 130 votes while Zanu PF candidate Kudakwashe Munsaka got 7 971 votes, MDC Alliance’s Peggie Mudimba (356), independent candidate Disciple Mukuli (220) and United Democratic Alliance’s Clive Muzamba (136).
This was despite that at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rally in Binga, Zanu PF dished out bicycles and fishing boats to residents, which was viewed by critics as vote-buying.
“If you look at government appointments, one would find that since 1980, there has never been any person from the Zambezi Valley appointed to a ministerial post,” Sibanda
“The only time that the Tonga people were treated well was during the government of national unity when they were regarded as equal citizens with other ethnic tribes.
“Zanu PF discriminates against, it looks down upon certain ethnic tribes and it’s not only the Tonga people that are affected. The Shangani and other minority tribes are affected.”
A notable bureaucrat from the Tonga tribe is Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda.
Sibanda suggested that to deal with the issue of discrimination of minority tribes, there was need for legislation that stipulates equitable distribution of resources.
Last week, Cabinet said Binga was one of the priority districts that would receive development aid from government.
In response, Sibanda said: “Zanu PF has been promising that since 1980, not only for Binga. In 2018, they put up posters, banners, signposts stating that there would be free education, but up to now, where is the free education? Instead of free education, we have no education.”
He said the health and transport infrastructure in the district was dilapidated.