By Elliot Ziwira
“The masses have no illusions. They are hungry; and the police officers, though now they are Africans, do not serve to reassure them particularly.
The masses begin to sulk; they turn away from this nation in which they have been given no place and begin to lose interest in it,” argued Frantz Fanon in “The Wretched of the Earth” (1967).
The perennial struggle for existence in the post-colonial state mainly hinges on the lack of willpower on the part of politicians to change outcomes for the common good.
If the people, who suffer abject poverty and misery, are not catered for sufficiently, they “begin to sulk” and turn their backs on the nation; a precarious situation for the nation state.
Disillusioned and hard done, the masses see through the folly of politicians; the “native bourgeoisie”, who promise them pies etched on the sky from their high horses.
In a democratic country like Zimbabwe; thanks to President Mnangagwa’s new dispensation ushered in last November through the intervention of the people’s army, people can exercise their constitutional rights to choose leaders who have their interests at heart.
And the people did decisively choose in the historic harmonised elections on July 30, giving the ruling party the mandate to govern for the next five years. Such is the nature of democracy.
People’s representatives should not be driven by avarice, neither should they purport to transact on the masses’ behalf when in fact they are in it for themselves, but they should exhibit traits of selflessness, benevolence and community-centredness.
Politics should not be used as a gateway to easy rich pickings, neither should it be taken as a lifetime occupation.
One such representative, with the people close to his heart is ZANU-PF Member of the National Assembly-elect for Goromonzi North, Cde Ozias Bvute, who has captured hearts of constituents through his long-term plans that go beyond the here and now.
The district, which covers a total area of 254 072 square kilometres, is divided into 25 wards; 13 of them being commercial agricultural areas, 11 communal areas and one small scale farming area. Of these wards eight (9-16) fall under Goromonzi North Constituency.
A recent visit to the constituency by The Herald revealed the challenges that the constituents were facing over the years and what their representative of choice had done for them, and continues to do away from the glare of cameras.
“To us the people of Goromonzi North, our honourable representative is God-sent. Our community lags behind in terms of infrastructure like roads, schools, clinics and portable water sources. Our children find themselves loafing because of lack of employment opportunities,” said Mrs Ezabela Nombe, ZANU-PF Mwanza Ward 12 chairperson.
Mrs Nombe said that through Cde Bvute’s efforts, the community can afford to smile again as hope abounds in the projects that the Member of Parliament elect has started for them.
“Regardless of political affiliation, honourable Bvute has trained women and youths in Boschveld (roadrunner) rearing, and about 1 000 individuals from this Ward (12) alone have received 20 chickens each, which are at different stages of development. He also provided 10 sewing machines to women who had underwent training in sanitary pads production; and started community banks (mukando) to provide loans to women on a rotational basis,” she added.
One of the beneficiaries of the Boschveld rearing initiative, Blessing Makunde (27) was optimistic that his entire flock would reach maturity and provide him with a base for growth in the near future.
“I am glad that none of my 20 birds has died so far, and am looking forward to a much bigger flock in five months’ time. I am convinced that the project will complement my welding business and am grateful for being given a chance, along with many other youths, to be creators of employment, instead of being employment seekers,” said Makunde.
Makunde, however, bemoaned lack of financial resources for growing his welding business, and appealed for their representative to provide the youths with affordable loans.
Mrs Oripah Chiwara (56), who also benefited from the initiatives for women spearheaded by Cde Bvute, concurred with both Mrs Nombe and Makunde that indeed exciting times have descended on their abode.
However, she decried lack of portable water, inadequate schools and health facilities in the constituency as constituents have to walk up to 10km to and from the nearest facilities; with the only hospital (Makumbi Hospital) in the district located in Goromonzi West.
The businessman cum politician availed 40 laptops to Mwanza Primary School and Mwanza Secondary School as a way of keeping rural schools abreast with technological trends.
In Ward 14, constituents enthused over the lifeline they received at the behest of their preferred representative.
“Here in Ward 14, especially around this community of Arcturus, our future appeared to be bleak, until the Honourable Bvute intervened.
“Our lives revolve around Arcturus Mine, for most of the people here, especially the first generation of workers, are migrant workers, and, therefore, with the mine currently facing challenges because of change of ownership, everything seems to be in limbo,” said Ms Felistas Rutanhira.
“We know that our economy is not performing well and are optimistic that the new owner of Arcturus Mine Mr Tawanda Nyambirai is working tirelessly to bring the mine to full capacity, but in the meantime we need something to fall back on. Therefore, we are grateful to both Mr Nyambirai and Cde Bvute as businesspersons for finding common ground in these difficult times,” she added.
Ms Rutanhira said that they were enthusiastic about the projects that Cde Bvute has started for youths and women in Ward 14.
“According to the project plan, each one of us will produce about 10 000 pads per month, which will be distributed for free to girls and women in our ward, with us getting 25 cents as a retainer for each pad,” Ms Rutanhira explained.
Tendai Moffat weighed in that the sewing, poultry and community banks initiatives will go a long way in mitigating poverty and distracting them from mischief as young people.
The brick moulding project for youths under the Youth Brigade banner has also taken off providing both income and an outlet for positive energy for young people.
Modern Nyamukondiwa (27), who leads the Youth Brigade said:
“We’ve benefited a lot in our community through the benevolence of designate Honourable Bvute. We are now occupied through brick moulding brigades and Boschveld (roadrunner chickens) rearing.
“After producing the bricks we will retain 30 percent and 70 percent will go towards the development of our local infrastructure such as clinics, housing units and roads. We are provided with food, work-suits, gumboots, wheelbarrows and all that may be required.
“Our target is to have as many groups as possible, so that young people deviate from vice. In my books as the secretary for administration I have 200 youths who are still to join these brigades.”
Nyamukondiwa expressed conviction that the projects will occupy them as youths and provide them with income.
“We have been trained to rear Boschveld chickens (roadrunners), and we are excited. Chemicals for treating the chickens are provided. The mobile clinic that provides free medication to the community is helping us a lot. We fall short of words when we think of how to thank Honourable Bvute for all that he is doing for us. He is, indeed, a man of the people,” enthused Nyamukondiwa.
Cde Bvute donated 40 laptops to four schools in Ward 14.