No cheer in Mabvuku-Tafara as Sakupwanya grabs the parliamentary seat

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By Staff Reporter

THE Mabvuku-Tafara community was in a sombre mood on Saturday following the appointment of Zanu-PF’s Scott Sakupwanya as their new legislator uncontested after opposition’s Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi was removed from the ballot.

The constituency’s parliamentary seat fell vacant in October this year after Kufahakutizwi was recalled by Sengezo Tshabangu.

Tshabangu, who claims to be the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s interim secretary general said Kufahakutiziwi had ceased to be a party member.

The recall paved the way for by-elections which were to be held in the constituency on Saturday but did not take place after Tshabangu successfully filed a court application to have Kufahakutizwi removed from the ballot.

Eight other constituencies met the same fate in Matabeleland.

A survey by on Saturday showed that boreholes that were closed to the public after Sakupwanya lost in the general elections were now open to the public but only a few were in a celebratory mood.

People went about with their business as usual while all polling stations were closed.

Kufahakutizwi told that the day was a sad one for people from his constituency.

“We are not surprised.  They have never followed the law and they have been urinating on the Constitution,” he said.

“Zanu PF wants to make sure they crush the voice of the opposition and the little democracy space we have so they are squeezing us to the bone,” said.

Kufahakutizwi however said he is content because he is loved by residents from his constituency.

His supporters gathered at his place of residency in Tafara expressing their frustration.

“It is a day of mourning for us. It is our right to vote but this right was denied. We are headed for the worst as a country,” said Joseph Chirwa from the constituency.

The high-density suburb was unusually slow with most residents shying away from the camera for fear of being victimised.

“We have no option. We have to move on and we can’t complain because they will beat us,” said a woman from Hunyani Street.

Another senior citizen who also spoke on condition of anonymity said he was happy for Sakupwanya but was not content with the way he got the parliamentary seat.

“It was better if he had remained a Councillor. He did a lot for us. Now that he is an MP he might be given a ministerial position and become too busy for us,” said the man from Nzwere Street in Old Mabvuku.

“It was very tricky for him to win in this area. Young people prefer the opposition in this area so it was going to be very tricky,” he added.

He however noted that Sakupwanya had brought about change in their area.

He said Sakupwanya played a major role in garbage clearing in their area.

“We are happy that boreholes have now been reopened for us. It was not him who ordered them to be closed but his agents had done this without his consent.”

Residents according to the source were now relying on boreholes donated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Another resident Rodwell Chikuse (31) however said he was happy with the outcome.

“We are very happy because Scott has done a lot for us. We have never had running water in the 20 years the opposition has been in charge.

“He had no powers to ensure that we have tap water because there were authorities who deal with that but he drilled boreholes for us,” said Chikuse also from Nzwere Street.

He however denied that Sakupwanya had closed boreholes to the residents.