‘MPs handing out food the new low for Zimbabwe’ – Ex Mayor

MP for Kuwadzana Chalton Hwende handing out mealie-meal

MDC Alliance official and former Harare Mayor Benard Manyenyeni says Zimbabwe’s biggest undoing is that “over 80% of our legislators and over 80% of our people think that over 80% of the MP’s job is to provide donations, bought or sourced.”

The 55-year-old Manyenyeni, who served as Harare Mayor between 2013 and 2018, blasted politicians in both the ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition as well as their respective supporters for entrenching a mentality that donations will bring about lasting change to the circumstances of the people.

“I really don’t think Zimbabweans realise the size of their problems,” Manyenyeni wrote on social media Sunday. “Over 80% of our legislators and over 80% of our people think that over 80% of the MP’s job is to provide donations, bought or sourced.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni

“We also believe a key source of national functionality are donors: it has become a STANDARD feature on candidates’ election manifestos.”

Manyenyeni said contrary to popular opinion among Zimbabweans, the actual job of every politician is to ensure that people and the nation at large are self-sufficient and not reliant on donations from whoever.

“The job of the political leaders is to make sure that neither the country nor its citizens look forward to donations as the way of life.

“Our elected representatives must concentrate on getting the country revived to function so that Zimbabwean organisations and Zimbabwean citizens thrive,” said Manyenyeni, a University of Derby (UK) alumni.

He added: “I don’t consider many MPs to be wealthy at all (in fact many are in the job for survival – not service).

“They cannot therefore be expected to personally subsidise national financial failures in their individual capacities.

“IT CAN’T WORK – THERE IS NO SUCH FINANCIAL MODEL OF 300 LEGISLATORS BUYING FOOD HAMPERS FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE EVERY SO OFTEN (OR IS IT JUST ENOUGH PEOPLE ENOUGH TIMES FOR THE CAMERAS AND SOCIAL MEDIA?).”

Zimbabwe is a perfect case of how not to manage a nation, constituency or even local community ward, Manyenyeni argued.

“Why don’t they just do that without being elected as MPs?

“Zimbabwe is a big case study on how things should NOT be done.

“We buy over 500 cars for MPs, Senators and Chiefs.

“No ambulances, no Police Cars – almost zero countrywide. Which is why it becomes big news and a full Presidential function (with both his VPs in tow) to receive ONE donated ambulance and for 2 cabinet ministers to receive a donated fridge.

“AT MY GOLF SOCIETY THIS ENTIRE TASK (FROM SOURCING TO HANDOVER OF AN AMBULANCE FOR CHARITY) IS ALLOCATED TO THE VICE-CAPTAIN AND WE ARE TOLD ONCE A YEAR. BACK TO THE CARS…

“Let us assume the MP cars cost 60k USD each, so the 500 people’s servants gobble USD30 million.

“I would give each of these “honourables” a maximum of USD10,000 and a duty-free car import certificate and save millions.

“I am not talking of something difficult to do. It is exactly the same model I proposed for my own station of service when I was Mayor of the capital.

“Budgeting USD200, 000 for mayoral S-Class Mercedes for a broke municipality!

“My successor at Town House and I have, so far, just used council pool cars for 7 years and we arrived at our destinations – busier than all MPs and Chiefs

“Street talk is that the capital city’s nine suburban police stations are served by one old car – all of them.

“The country’s management needs to be out sourced! We have lost the people,” said Manyenyeni.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, politicians across the divide have been all over social media handing out donations to vulnerable members of society.

President Mnangagwa, with his deputies in tow, have also been receiving am assorted range of donations from and foreign players towards the fight against the coronavirus.

The main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has also famously said if he were to get into office, his friends including the US Government would donate US$15 billion to Zimbabwe. – Zimbabwe Voice