via Govt neglects Byo for voting MDC, Mphoko – New Zimbabwe 26/04/2015
VICE PRESIDENT Phelekezela Mphoko has confirmed why Bulawayo is deteriorating with industries closing down more frequently than ever before, telling a rally that this was all because people were rejecting the ruling party by voting for the opposition.
Mphoko told a Zanu PF rally in Bulawayo Saturday that the reason why the country’s second largest city was underdeveloped was because the electorate has been voting wrong people all along.
Activists said Mphoko’s comments did not come as a surprise as they were in keeping with President Robert Mugabe’s words.
Addressing mourners at the burial of former National Railways of Zimbabwe general manager, Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai in August, 2013, Mugabe berated Harare and Bulawayo provinces for voting for MDC.
He said: “Those who voted for MDC-T go and get what you voted for from MDC-T.”
Two years on, Mugabe’s deputy seems to be singing from the same hymn book, after he told party supporters in Makokoba that government was not developing the city because people voted for the wrong party.
Zanu PF was officially launching its by-election campaign in the suburb and was meant to unveil its candidate, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, who was absent due to ill-health.
“Bulawayo is endowed with all the riches you can find in this country, even the biggest factories are located here but they have been shut down. Money from government is not coming to Bulawayo because you voted for the wrong parties.
“Whether you like it or you don’t, Zanu PF is in power. These other parties are not in government, they are barking from the side lines. We have become very poor and the problem is us, we are backstabbing ourselves,” said Mphoko.
Mphoko’s statement was met with rage from opposition political parties, who castigated the ruling party for deliberately under developing Bulawayo.
“That is a sign of leadership crisis and sickness; Zanu PF has been collecting revenue produced in Matabeleland from day one. You can talk of National Breweries when it was still alive, Cold Storage Commission and many other parastatals that were productive.
“It is interesting that he (Mphoko) wants to attach Bulawayo’s voting patterns to lack of development, meanwhile they have been sucking this region like nobody’s business. It is a totally irresponsible statement from a man who is supposed to be a vice president of a country who does not appreciate the tenants of democracy and what leadership is all about,” said Joshua Mhambi, the national spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube led MDC.
Mhambi said even before MDC made its grand entrance into Zimbabwe political arena, there was no meaningful development in the city.
“What we saw prior to 2000 and after was people dying via Gukurahundi and Operation Murambatsvina and people forced to move out to South Africa and now Xenophobia is on their neck. This is all because of a failed state presided over by Mphoko and his friends,” he said.
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) president Mqondisi Moyo, said Mphoko’s statement was quite disturbing.
“We are disturbed by Vice President Mphoko’s statement that Bulawayo is lagging behind in development due to the fact that people here vote for MDC. Bulawayo is what it is today because of Zanu PF and not the opposition.
“Bulawayo was once called the industrial hub of the country but since taking over in 1980, the Zanu PF government destroyed all that. Even the relocation of companies to Harare was a deliberate ploy by Zanu PF government to deprive the people of Bulawayo employment opportunities,” said Moyo.
Moyo said Mphoko, by making such statements, was actually decampaigning his party and their candidate.
Since the emergence of MDC in 1999, the main opposition party has swept all the council and parliamentary seats.
However, this might change in the upcoming June 10 by-elections where five seats are up for grabs and Zanu PF for the first time in more than a decade has hope of finally winning some if not all the seats, after the MDC formations boycotted the mini-polls.
Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city, is far behind in terms of development and analysts have pointed out that Zanu PF, which has been in power since 1980, is punishing the city for rejecting its policies and voting for the ruling party’s arch nemesis, MDC.
The city was once revered as the country’s industrial capital but the factories have become shells and most of the warehouses have been taken over by churches.