THE legislator for Musikavanhu constituency (Chipinge) Mr Proper Chapfiwa Mutseyami (MDC-T) has acquitted himself well as a voice of the voiceless Ndau community.
His contributions in Parliament have seen him becoming one of the few respected opposition legislators in the country for articulating the hopes and aspirations of not only his Musikavanhu constituency, but the entire Ndau community in Chipinge district.
However, Mr Mutseyami, who is serving his second term as an MP needs to broaden his scope, establish networks and synergies to push for the physical development of the evidently marginalised and underdeveloped constituency.
“It is fact that the Ndau community has been marginalised for a very long time and for unknown reasons. We are proud to have an MP like Mr Mutseyami. He has remained resolute, putting the Ndau people on the map.
“He often times speaks fearlessly in Parliament about the need to preserve the Ndau language and culture. He has been a true ambassador of our language in Parliament, and this ranks as one of his most meaningful contributions on behalf of the people of Chipinge,” said Mr Musutani Dhlamini, of Chibuwe Village.
Mr Mutseyami said he is obliged to speak on behalf of and against marginalisation of the Ndau community.
“It is a fact that the Ndau people have been marginalised for decades since independence. I am Ndau and proud of it. I grew up among the Ndaus so I understand their pain and anguish towards marginalisation.
“This is the reason why I am very vocal in Parliament. I am an advocate for the preservation of the Ndau language. It must be accorded the same respect as other languages in the country. It must be examinable. There should be Ndau textbooks in schools,” said Mr Mutseyami.
Apart from his sturdy advocacy in Parliament, Musikavanhu remains pitifully underdeveloped. Mrs Chineni Dhliwayo of Zamuchiya Village bemoaned this evident lack of development in Musikavanhu.
“It is very clear that the area has not had any meaningful development for a very long time. The roads are in tatters, making some areas inaccessible. There is very poor communication (mobile) network throughout the constituency.
“The country is facing some economic challenges, yes, but I feel the MP needs to pull up his socks and do more in mobilising resources to develop this area,” said Mrs Dhliwayo.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Dakarai Hlekiseni, of Mbeure, who said the majority of people in Musikavanhu identify more with Mozambique than Zimbabwe due to marginalisation.
“To be honest with you, some of us identify more with Mozambique than Zimbabwe. The previous administration betrayed and marginalised the Ndau tribe. This has been the case for a long time such that we now listen to radio stations from Mozambique.
The infrastructure in our constituency is so bad. You would not think that we have representatives in Parliament. There is nothing tangible on the ground. There are no roads, health facilities and schools to talk about in Musikavanhu,” said Hlekisani.
Zamuchiya, Mariya, Tuzuka, Muumbe, Mbeure, Rimbi, Chibuwe, Hakwata, Mwangazi, Matsuro, Rimai, Chisavanye, Manzire and Rukangare are the major villages in Musikavanhu being served by only two high schools, namely Rimbi and Chibuwe.
Chibuwe High is the only boarding school in the constituency.
Mr Tonderai Mapamba, of Chibuwe village said MP Mutseyami did little to improve infrastructure in the constituency.
“I think these were wasted two terms. We should have had a better candidate in parliament. He did nothing to improve the state of affairs in the constituency. I cannot find anything to point out. There is really nothing that has improved in terms of infrastructure. We expected him to use his influence as someone who was now in his second term in parliament to push for infrastructural development in the constituency,” he said.
Mr Talkmore Musademba, a teacher in Muumbe village said MP Mutseyami made numerous calls in Parliament for improvement of rural teachers’ welfare.
“We are aware that the legislator made numerous calls in Parliament for rural teachers to be given incentives in order to attract qualified and experienced teachers in rural schools. That would improve intellect levels in rural areas where brilliant minds are being wasted because of lack of proper guidance and mentorship. That was really commendable for him even though his calls fell on deaf ears,” he said.
Mrs Chengetai Mwahlupa, of Mwangazi said MP Mutseyami did his part in advocating for repair of infrastructure destroyed by Cyclone Eline.
“We know we cannot expect the MP to use personal funds to improve infrastructure. That is not the reason for electing them. The MP did his part in advocating for repairs of infrastructure destroyed during Cyclone Eline but somehow there is nothing being done on the ground. Honestly, we cannot expect him to carry out maintenance works using resources from his own pocket because that is not his role. MPs should speak on behalf of constituents, something that I think he did with distinction. I believe the general lack of development has more to do with the prevailing harsh economic conditions in the country than ineptness on the part of the MP,” she said.
Mr Chokuda Chimukombo, an elderly farmer at Chibuwe irrigations scheme, said the MP did little to improve the constituency but was visible in the constituency.
“It is fact that he has done little to ensure development in the constituency. Maybe it is because he personally does not have deep pockets. One thing that he has managed to do that many MPs fail to do, is to be with the people. He was always here at funerals, weddings and parties. He really showed us that he is one of us.
“I understand that he has sourced a security fence for the Chibuwe irrigation scheme. That is a positive development because we had problems with livestock straying into our fields,” he said.
Mr Mutseyami said he has lobbied for Government attention and resources in key areas.
“It is true that the infrastructure in the constituency is really bad. Some roads are impassable. This is the reason I have also been vocal on issues relating to radio networks. People in some parts of my constituency listen to Mozambique radio stations. It is unfortunate that nothing is being done by the responsible authorities.
“I have repeatedly raised issues relating to health centres; accessibility of clinics in my constituency is worrisome. I cannot construct a hospital as an individual because I do not have the resources. At best I do a lot of advocacy on key priorities, conscientising Government, local authorities, private companies and NGOs about the plight and needs of my constituency. We have come up with other initiatives and took it upon ourselves as a community to mobilise resources to construct a clinic at Mbeure.
“We also have challenges of mobile phone networks. Several villages have no signals and I actually wrote three letters to Minister Supa Mandiwanzira to intervene, but somehow nothing has been done apart from sending officials to do feasibility studies that have yielded nothing,” he said.
Mr Mutseyami singled out the resealing of the Tanganda-Chiredzi road as a product of his immense lobbying. He said it took lots of advocacy in and outside Parliament.
The MP said he wrote three letters on the state of that road to the former president Mr Mugabe and President Mnangagwa when he was still the Vice President.
“I am happy that the road is now being resealed. I made a lot of noise about it in Parliament and in high offices. I am happy that something tangible is finally being done,” he said.
MP Mutseyami said more development projects will soon be rolled out under the just released Constituency Development Fund (CDF). We give MP Mutseyami a rating of 8/10.