Blessings Chidakwa Mashonaland West Bureau
November 24, 2017 will go down in the annuls of history because that is the day Operation Restore Legacy took effect and changed the country’s political landscape.
It is that date when politics in Zimbabwe was cleansed of its evils and dirt, paving a way for a fresh start both in Government and the ruling Zanu-PF. It is also a date that brought courage to Zanu-PF cadres who had vast political potential but were engulfed in a cocoon that stifled their growth.
It is a day that political novices decided to come out of their shells to breathe a new lease of life into Zanu-PF. One of the political novices is Sanyati legislator and Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Cde Polite Kambamura, who would not have dared to emerge from his shell had it not been for Operation Restore Legacy.
“It was at the Zanu-PF Extra-Ordinary Congress in December last year that President Mnangagwa’s speech found resonance with those in attendance. The President raised poignant points about youth involvement in the party and the country’s development processes that had far reaching impact on many young people,” the youthful minister said in an interview recently.
President Mnangagwa on December 15, 2017 said: “We must provide youths with answers rooted in the future. . .We must encourage them to be part of our structures only then can we guarantee the party’s future.”
That call and the party’s decision to open its internal democratic processes inspired many young and energetic members including the deputy minister to challenge for posts in Zanu-PF.
After being confined to praise singing and being runners, he said he and other youths emerged stronger and more powerful to rejuvenate Zanu-PF and Government. Deputy Minister Kambamura dared to dream, challenged for the Sanyati seat in the National Assembly and won the Zanu-PF primary elections.
During the July 31, 2018 Harmonised Elections, Cde Kambamura polled 12 082 votes to see off the MDC Alliance candidate Mr Xavier Abel Edziwa who had 4 752 while others such as Mr Simangaliso Chabuka of National Patriotic Front, Florence Gwatinyanya (ZIPP), Baster Willie Magwizi (ZAPU) and People’s Rainbow Coalition leader Mr Gift Nyandoro had insignificant figures worth mentioning.
For his efforts in contributing to the Zanu-PF election successes Cde Kambamura was rewarded with a ministerial appointment in one of the critical ministries in the executive. The seemingly distant future that President Mnangagwa spoke about, he said, became the present and the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President’s Speech in December had broadened intra and inter-party democracy.
The electorate also had a chance to choose their preferred candidates, subsequently giving birth to a new breed of youthful and vibrant politicians.
“It was taboo for one to contest for a parliamentary seat especially being a district member like myself. We thank the new dispensation, which afforded equal opportunities to all capable party members,” he said.
“The electorate was afforded the chance to choose freely and fairly their preferred leader without any intimidation. I used to think that politics was for the elderly until the new dispensation paved way for us the youths.”
As youths, Deputy Minister Kambamura said, their main goal was deliver and contribute to the development of Zimbabwe as a way of repaying the faith bestowed on them by the President.
“We applaud the President for empowering us and as the new generation, we do not take the opportunity we have been afforded lightly. We will surely drive the nation forward and deliver as expected of us.”
Cde Kambamura said among his priorities for the Sanyati constituency was to improve infrastructure including roads and other amenities.
“Government has availed funds for the construction of the Sanyati Road and work is underway but l am pushing for its completion so that we catch up with other areas in terms of road accessibility and development,” he said.
“We are happy that one of President’s main thrust is infrastructure development, the Kadoma-Sanyati Road connects Gokwe-Nembudziya, which is a cotton farming area. It is, therefore, critical that we tackle the road challenges in the constituency so that all these problems would be a thing of the past in a short space of time.”
He said the cotton growing area should be a marvel to the people of Mashonaland West province.
“Our area is in the white gold area. President Mnangagwa has emphasised on devolution of the economy and we want cotton firms such as the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe to do all their processing and beneficiation of the crop in our constituency instead of weighing and ferrying cotton to Harare.
“Weaving should be done in Sanyati including cotton seed processing into cooking oil and soap. This ensures that we sell finished goods to other provinces. We are also into other crops and millers should be coming to Sanyati to get produce from the source.”
Cde Kambamura, a beneficiary of the Presidential Scholarship program at Advanced Level, at the beginning of the millennium, believes more has to be done in the education sector in Sanyati.
“Sanyati has been so underdeveloped in every sense, with only a single school offering Advanced Level – Sanyati Baptist High School. Most of the pupils enrolled at the school are not from Sanyati due to exorbitant fees, which are beyond the reach of most people in the area.
“Our children are also walking long distances to the nearest primary and secondary schools and for now we want at least three wards to access one secondary school.”
The deputy minister said Sanyati is a dry area and his vision is to increase availability of portable water to the people.
“There are boreholes that were drilled in the 1980s, which are now dysfunctional and we appeal to our listening Government to assist the constituency. We need water bodies including the so that villagers can access clean and engage in horticulture and fish farming,” he said.
Cde Kambamura said he also wanted to improve the state of health facilities and communication systems in the constituency.
“Patients are travelling about 15 kilometres on foot to access the nearest clinic and we want to have at least three health centres per ward to reduce the distance travelled while increasing accessibility. Internet and mobile networks are hardly accessible especially in the Sechuru area where most people reside but it is everyone’s right to have access to communication system in this modern era.”
The ease of doing business in Sanyati is also a priority area for the deputy minister, who believes Sanyati needs to develop to attract investors.
“The people cannot continue relying on mobile money transfers because we have no banks and this is what we will be working on during this term,” he said.
Born in 1977, Cde Kambamura holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, and has risen to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Mashonaland West. He has interests in real estate, pharmaceuticals, liquor outlets and medium scale mining cooperatives.