Zanu-PF’s candidate for the March 27 Mt Darwin West House of Assembly by-election, Cde Barnwell Seremwe, says former Vice-President Dr Joice Mujuru was at one point banned from holding any meetings in her constituency, owing to her failure to develop the area.
Cde Seremwe, who won the right to represent the party in next month’s poll after triumphing in the party’s recent primary elections, said Dr Mujuru was alien to party supporters, hence the decision to bar her from addressing them.
Speaking to The Sunday Mail yesterday, Cde Seremwe rubbished claims he was a Mujuru ally, saying they had a fall-out after he confronted her about her lack of concern for constituents.
“Some time just before the elections in 2013 Mai Mujuru sent a delegation advising us that she wanted to hold a rally in the constituency. I protested vehemently and told her delegation that she should not hold any meetings in the constituency because she was not in touch with the people.
“So we banned her from holding the rallies until she developed our area. We made this ultimatum because she had spent several months without coming to address us or hear our concerns,” he said. Cde Seremwe, treasurer of the party’s Nehanda district in Mt Darwin, said Dr Mujuru failed the people.
“Dotito area is one the least developed constituencies in Zimbabwe but we had our very own daughter who was the Vice-President. Most of the roads here are unnavigable and it’s a struggle to secure transport to visit our relatives in other parts of the constituency.
“There is also a serious shortage of boreholes, clinics and schools. Most children are forced to walk distances of over 20 kilomteres to get to the nearest school. There are only about three clinics in the whole constituency to serve the total number of 30 000 people who live in Mt Darwin West. During her tenure, Mai Mujuru was blind to all these challenges facing the people.”
Cde Seremwe said for a number of years, Dr Mujuru had blocked potential candidates from contesting against her while claiming that the constituency was reserved for women.
He said the people of Mt Darwin were yearning for a new era after celebrating Dr Mujuru’s exit from the political scene.
Cde Seremwe said the high vote turnout in the primary elections was proof that people were eager for a new dispensation.
“During the primary elections, more than 10 000 people voted. Actually, there was a high voter turnout from the Chihoko area, which is Mai Mujuru’s own village. This is clear evidence that the people want to move on and they welcome a new person to represent them,” he said.
President Mugabe constitutionally proclaimed by elections for Mt Darwin West and Chrumanzi-Zibagwe constituencies after they fell vacant when Dr Mujuru was made VP in 2013 and Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa was elevated to that post in 2014.