ASPIRING Masvingo Urban legislator Collen Maboke has insisted he would not have jumped to collect a hefty housing loan given to Parliamentarians last year without first asking his constituents, had he been in that situation.
Maboke, who is the current Mayor of Masvingo, was responding to questions at a town hall discussion held to unveil Masvingo Urban candidates and grant them an opportunity to sell themselves.
Former Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) President Archibald Madida had asked Maboke whom he would be accountable to considering he had fallen out with the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and running as an independent candidate.
The event was organised by Masvingo community paper TellZimbabwe.
Maboke dumped the CCC after questioning its Consensus Candidate Selection Programme, choosing instead to nominate himself for Member of Parliament (MP) two days before a dramatic close to the process.
“I will be accountable to the people. It is the same with the US$40,000 given to MPs last year, if I were in Parliament I would have come to the people, told them about it, and asked if I should take it. If they had said no, I would not have taken it,” Maboke told attendants.
The US$40,000 loans which were enthusiastically taken up by all MPs, including those from opposition parties, were described as unethical and immoral by CCC President Nelson Chamisa.
Ministers were given US$500,000, and their deputies US$350,000 to put the government’s total disbursal at US$14 million.
Maboke was reportedly frustrated by CCC’s lack of communication regards who was to represent their constituency and felt he was being targeted for standing up to certain policies.
His name was not picked and hence will be running against CCC’s Martin Mureri and Zanu PF’s Wellington Mahwende.
Maboke has since begun intensive campaigns in all six wards which make up their constituency.
He added: “When I get into Parliament the first thing, I will do is look into the Urban Councils Act to solve service delivery which is heavily affected by that law, ministerial directives are affecting the operations of councils.
“Last year’s devolution funds are yet to be disbursed because there is no law which determines their operation, I will make sure that is looked at too.” – NewZim