Ray Bande Senior Reporter
WHEN the people of Chipinge Central constituency went to cast their votes for the harmonised elections of 2013, hopes were high that the eventual winner would come armed with knowledge of fostering socio-economic growth in different sectors in the predominantly agro-based economy of this marginalised community.
Hopes were high that the House of Assembly representative would use his or her influence to help improve the state of roads especially in Chipinge town, an integral part of the constituency.
Indeed, hopes were high that infrastructural development would be witnessed in and around the constituency that had been sidelined for years by the former political administration.
But their hopes never came to fruition as the incumbent Member of the House of Assembly, Cde Raymore Machingura (Zanu-PF) reportedly went on a sabbatical soon after being elected into office.
Constituents from Chipinge Central told this paper that Cde Machingura did virtually nothing for the betterment of his constituency.
Desire Dube of Gaza E said he only heard of the name but does not even know Cde Machingura.
“I have only heard that there is an MP called Cde Machingura but I do not know him at all.
I know I am not the only one because I have also heard many people saying the same.
“Personally, I expected him to be visible on the ground and help people in this constituency in areas of development but that never happened. I think we made a mistake as a constituency by voting him into office,” said Dube.
Ngonidzashe Munjokodi of Usanga suburb said the Member of the House of Assembly did nothing to improve the water problems that the people in Chipinge Central have always been complaining about.
“We have always been complaining about water problems in this area and he (Cde Machingura) is well aware of that. He did nothing to help the situation.
We did not hear him speak about the need to improve that yet those are the issues that I thought as our parliamentary representative he would work hard to solve.
“We will certainly remember him as one of the MPs who did nothing for us during his term.
As a person we know him for being reserved and that actually went on to be his approach to things even after being elected into office,” said Munjokodi.
Chandaida Mutema of W Section of Gaza high density suburb said he expected the Member of the House of Assembly to help in the improvement of the education sector but that never materialized.
“I thought Cde Machingura came into office fully aware of the fact that Chipinge only has one horticultural college and there is not any other tertiary institution just like we see in other areas.
This is an area that I thought he would prioritise but that was not the case.
“I am in the education sector and we would have been happy if he had been vocal about the matter yet that was never the case.
In fact, I can hardly recall any issue that he was vocal about, which was meant to develop this area.
I guess he is one of those who slept on duty,” he said.
Richard Mlambo of Chipinge medium density suburb said Cde Machingura was not visible during the five years he had been the Member of the House of Assembly for the area.
“We have never seen him carrying out his parliamentary duties in our area as we expected him to.
I only got to know him at the funeral of a local popular figure where he was eventually barred from making a speech, as people were bitter about his failure to represent the constituency effectively,” he said.
Esther Mhlanga of Dairibord Section of Gaza high density suburb said Chipinge Central was now worse than what it was before Cde Machingura became Member of the House of Assembly.“I personally think Chipinge is worse than what is was before Cde Machingura became Member of the House of Assembly.
The roads have deteriorated and water problems have worsened. For some of us who grew up here and used to see uninterrupted water supply it is painful to see these people that we elect into office failing to live up to our expectations,” said Mhlanga.
Cde Machingura was hugely inactive during parliamentary debates and probably his only meaningful contribution was made during the Presidential speech debate in which he left the house in stitches when he alluded to the fact that people who misbehaved in Chipinge risk being pelted by fruits, not stones, given the abundance of fruits in the area.
“When you come to Chipinge and you misbehave; we do not throw stones at you but instead, we use fruits such as bananas and guavas.
We believe that if we can have companies like Cairns to come to my constituency, they will open up canning factories,” said Cde Machingura during the Presidential speech debate.
Repeated efforts to get Cde Machingura’s side of the story were fruitless, as he continually gave excuses for not being able to grant The Manica Post an interview.
His mobile phone continuously went unanswered and when he eventually picked it on Wednesday night, he told said that he was busy.“I am busy, call me later.
I cannot talk to you at the moment because I am very busy,” Cde Machingura said before hanging up.
On Thursday morning Cde Machingura said he could not field questions as he was driving.
We give Cde Machingura a rating of 3/10.