Chinotimba: A political messiah?

via Chinotimba: A political messiah? | The Financial Gazette by Clemence Manyukwe 31 Oct 2013

THE Joseph Chinotimba one finds in Parliament today is worlds apart from the boisterous war veteran who straddled the country in a straw hat more than a decade ago, violently repossessing land from whites to give to landless blacks.

His maiden Parliamentary speech, which was delivered in the National Assembly on September 24 sounded a lot like the Biblical Saul to Paul conversion from the day he led land invasions to his current time as Buhera South Member of Parliament.

In that speech, Chinotimba urged the Zimbabwe National Road Authority to ensure that funds it distributes are spread out equitably to benefit all parts of the country.

He also highlighted the hunger stalking many of the country’s districts; decried widespread underdevelopment and condemned corruption saying the scourge emanates from those holding positions of power.
“Even the people that we appoint as ministers, they are the ones who are corrupt. People who have been appointed to higher positions, they are the ones who are corrupt,” said Chinotimba.
Subsequent contributions in the National Assembly showed political maturity through bi-partisan support for a cancer motion.

After Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader in the House, Thokozani Khupe moved a motion imploring the National Assembly to push government to introduce a cancer levy, Chinotimba sprang to her support saying local MPs should learn to support progressive ideas even if they are coming from their political rivals.

In equal measure, he added MPs should not just toe the party line on matters that are not in the national interest.
Chinotimba also suggested that diamond proceeds be used in the effort to fight cancer and implored MPs to find common ground on issues that are meant to make Zimbabwe a better country.
A common and consistent thread runs through Chinotimba’s contributions and standpoint thus far: a seemingly genuine concern for the welfare of the ordinary person.

This is a departure from what many may have expected of Chinotimba given his history of violent farm invasions and also his lack of considerable education.
Chinotimba’s performance so far pokes holes in the notion that one has to be educated to go to Parliament as the war veteran has been showing an understanding of his duties as a legislator.
Though not well educated, Chinotimba is proving not to be unwise or stupid as many thought.

His actions and ideas, though in some cases unclear, are showing that he understands his role as a parliamentarian. He is showing the versatility needed in balancing party interests on one side and national interests on the other.
Some from Buhera district have already come to the conclusion that Chinotimba could be the political messiah they have been waiting for.

Chinotimba has renovated schools, donated computers and championed income generating projects.
When some villagers were attacked by jackals in his area, he went to one of the diamond companies operating in Chiadzwa for assistance which saw them getting medical attention.
When the patients were discharged from hospital last week, he personally drove them back to their rural homes.

Chinotimba has also requested the District Development Fund to provide materials needed to rehabilitate bridges.Upon receiving the material, he has gone a step further to summon them to do the work.
Taurai Machaka who comes from Nechavava village in Buhera district told the Financial Gazette over the weekend that Chinotimba was doing more for villagers than what MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who also hails from the district and was prime minister for more than four years, had done for them during his time in the inclusive government.

“Electricity is now reaching our rural area. I think Chinotimba will win again in 2018. People like him, he won without using any violence,” said Machaka.
“When Tsvangirai was prime minister it was only promises and nothing was delivered to people of Buhera. Even the road that goes to Tsvangirai’s rural home, you can’t say it’s a road for vehicles, it’s for scotch carts.”
In his maiden speech last month, Chinotimba joked over the thought that some were now comparing him with Tsvangirai.

As a result, he jokingly said roads in Bikita were now being named after him.
“At first they said Kangai, when Kangai went out; the roads were now named Tsvangirai after the prime minister. Now we are there, they are saying they are now called Chinotimba,” said the war veteran in the National Assembly.

But such did not come on its own.
MDC99 leader, Job Sikhala, who campaigned against Chinotimba during a 2001 by election in Bikita West, an area near the opposition member’s home area, said the war veteran was proving to be popular in the district as he understood the needs of the people.
Sikhala described Chinotimba as a simple African person who takes things as we understand them in a traditional way.
“He does simple things people understand and with them he is moving forward,” said Sikhala.

On Monday, Chinotimba said he combines his own money and donations to carry out projects in his constituency.
“At the moment we are building a bridge at Nerushanga. It was washed away 15 years ago and people have been walking long distances to get transport. We have some of the materials including 300 bags of cement, but we want more cement and so if you and your paper or anyone can help, please assist,” said Chinotimba.

“I am not doing this so that I am known; it’s about the people who voted for us. We suffered to liberate the people so they cannot continue to suffer. It is better for us to suffer because we are used to suffering because suffering is what makes people go to parties like the National Constitutional Assembly that are just there for the money.”
But despite his apparent transformation, Chinotimba’s chequered history is still following him especially claims that he previously spearheaded ZANU-PF’s violent campaigns.
Last week at the Bulawayo magistrates Court, Chinotimba withdrew charges against Steven Gwarada who had accused him over the phone in 2011 of killing people.

“I know you Chinotimba, you are used to killing people but today it is over. If you fail to bring back my cellphone within two days you will die,” Gwarada allegedly said three years back.
In Parliament, two weeks ago, MDC-T Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya accused Chinotimba of having killed Dickson Sibamba in 2008.

“We have people we are forced by the dictates of parliamentary procedures to call honourable, but, these people have got blood in their hands,” said Chikwinya.
The MDC-T lawmaker was forced to withdraw the statement by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda.
Chinotimba vehemently denied that he was a murderer.

Ricky Mukonza, a political analyst, this week said it was still too early to conclude that Chinotimba is a good parliamentarian.
“…as Chinua Achebe in his book Man of the People says ‘… a mad man may sometimes speak a true word, but, you watch him, he will soon add something to it that will tell you his mind still spoilt.’ Let us give him time before we conclude,” said Mukonza.


  • comment-avatar
    Murairwa 9 years ago

    Well done Chinos. Man of the people. Well done Sir. YEs education haina zvainoziva. You are woking hard for the Buhera people. Ima sure they are happy about your being their MP. Keep it up Mr. Chinotimba. Hats off.

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    Antonio delgado 9 years ago


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    Kubota Binga 9 years ago

    Credit where its due. Good Chinos.

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    Tjingababili 9 years ago


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    thembani 9 years ago

    Chinos. chinos.Typical ZANU politician.

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    Zvapasipano 9 years ago

    Keep it up chinos. Sure u can bring change.

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    Lizi Nkala 9 years ago

    And, just what is my MP doing?????? What are the Ministers doing for their constituencies besides harvesting hordes of small house girls for themselves?? How many wives each do our Ministers have??? It is time we the povo kept records of all our MPs’ deeds. Those who will want to come to us when the next elections come should be told in no uncertain terms that gone are the days when that used to be acceptable. We must vote out all ‘do nothing MPs’ in the next elections, period!!!!

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    Chinos is living proof that his mother slept with a lice infested hyena and that a genuine lunatic is truly running the asylum.

    A political messiah? Asking such a stupid question show just how low down and filthy politics has become in Zimbabwe. It provides gravitas to the notion that this murderous criminal (Joseph Chinotimba) is being depicted as the victim. It proves that George Orwell’s Animal Farm exists in the real world where reverse logic has become the norm.

    If you think Joseph Chinotimba is funny, no wonder rigged elections are “legitimised”. Because such injustice is condoned, it is now seen as the norm proving that the boiling frog syndrome is alive and well in Zimbabwe.

    Dear readers, I question why there is myth when there should be outrage at the blatant abuse of our people

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    Asijiki Nyamasvisva 9 years ago

    Let us not be fooled pana apa. Mhondi imhondi chete! What more violence inokunda 2008 would be needed to force people vote for chinoz. Hapana chachinja apa. Iyo political party inoita leaders like chinotimba iparty hwayi? Kana akatenduka ngaatange aripa ngozi dzinoteverera.

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    Johnny k 9 years ago

    If Chinotimba is using his “own money” to carry out these great deeds, one should be asking where did this money come from? Has he been employed for these last 12 years or so? if not then who gave him the money. Just the same as Obert Mopfu, how did he accumulate his fortune? Did these gentlemen pay their taxes on these financial windfalls? Of course not, it is only the workers of Zimbabwe who have to pay tax, the Chefs pay none. Mbava’s all of them!!

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    Bruce 9 years ago

    MDCs in government was not accessing any funds. Failure by Tsvangirai to do much was not his fault since he could not even better the road to his on home. The process of denying MDCs MPs access to devlopemental funds was deliberate by ZANU PF to make people scorn the MDCs. Which in some cases they are succeeding in particular amongst the illiterate, who does not known or understand the circumstances under which MDCs in inclusive government operated. Tsvangirai lost a wife due to lack of an amoured car, which is a basic requirement for a PM. Mugabe last used an ordinary car may be 1979, so why blamming some one like him who is also a victim of lack of funds. Any donations from MDCs would have to be scrutinised by Mugabe government so where would they get development funds if not from donations

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      Bruce, Tsvangirai’s wife was assassinated by Zanu-PF. No amount of armour was needed because Tsvangirai was a captive audience.

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    msizeni silwelani 9 years ago

    If anything, chinotimba might have engaged a sound political advisor. Learning does not end, take five Honorable MP sir, prove your political maturity and we move forward. We all once faltered, avoid soiling others as you smoother yourself.

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    anti-dzakwela 9 years ago

    Haa Bruce naNzou madzakwela, so where do you think poor Tsvangirai got the thousands for gupuro which in our culture , I bet you are not even familiar with, itswanda kana rusero. Nzou mudakuwanza mazwi nechirungu, ndimi vanhu vasingavhote imi, I bet you are not even resident in Zimbabwe

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    chirandu 8 years ago

    I do not see the connection between being educated and performance as an MP. This has been proved because several Zanu PF MP’S were appointed to Ministerial positions because they held PHD’S, yet , their contribution was Zero!! Even most MDC MP’S who were appointed presumably on the basis of their academic acievements proved to be ineffective.We are still learning as a nation and we shall come to the point when we will be knowledgeable about who to chose as our representatives-The comments above make good reading and debate should be encouraged-keep it up.

    Regards and best wishes for the future.