Freedom Mutanda Post Correspondent
ZANU-PF foot soldier, Retired Colonel, Cde Joshua Murire, romped to victory in Musikavanhu in the just ended harmonised elections in a gruelling contest which saw him shrug off immense competition from the MDC Alliance candidate, Miss Sifiso Sithole, daughter to the late ZANU Ndonga leader, Mr Ndabaningi Sithole and the MDC Alliance renegade, Mr Pishai Muchauraya, who stood as an independent candidate.
“It was a close contest but I thank the electorate for sticking their necks for me. The last time I contested, I was unable to make any headway; that was in 2013,’’ Cde Murire said.
The Manica Post visited the constituency to get to the bottom of the matter in as far as the ruling party was able to reverse the losses it had suffered since 2008 when Mr Prosper Mutseyami of the opposition MDC-T won the constituency and repeated the feat in 2013.
Mbuya Roina Mhlanga who lives at Maronga village said people had seen that Cde Murire was a true son of the area who had not recoiled into his shell even when he lost the previous elections to the outgoing MP.
“We saw that Murire wanted the best for the constituency because he never abandoned us or failed to support projects that benefit the people. We have seen other aspiring MPs who abandoned the people as soon as they lost a plebiscite. We believe good times are coming for the Musikavanhu constituency,’’ she said.
Musikavanhu constituency stretches from Chibuwe to Muumbe and Chief Musikavanhu is the paramount Chief who has jurisdiction over the whole constituency.
There are road challenges, which have made some areas unreachable due to the poor roads. Some people feel that a new dawn has arrived.
“Murire is always here with the people and by voting for him, we think developments will come now that a senior member of the party who is rooted in the Chimurenga War has come back home to take the mantle,’’ a war veteran who requested anonymity said.
When The Manica Post met Cde Murire, he was relaxed but buoyant. He felt his hard work and resilience had paid off. What was left was to engage the community for it to develop.
“I didn’t abandon my loyal supporters after 2013; I remained in the constituency bidding my time. Supporters had built their confidence in me. My main challenger, Mr Prosper Mutseyami, ran scared and had to go for an urban seat.
“My manifesto which was in tandem with the main Zanu PF one resonated well with the electorate’s expectations; the opposition underestimated the new breed of youthful voters. Bear in mind that the opposition’s combined total was nearly 8 000 and my votes were 6 559, which attests to the fact I made the opposition to be in chaos,’’ said Retired Colonel Murire.
Cde Murire is a family man; he has a wife and four children. He was born in 1956 at Chibuwe in Chipinge. He went to Mozambique in 1976 before going to Nachingweya in Tanzania in 1977.
He rose through the ranks to become a communications instructor. At Independence, he was attested into the Zimbabwe National Army before he went for a cadetship course in Nigeria. On returning home, he became a second lieutenant.
“I retired and took up employment at NASA before I was seconded to the Ministry of Education. In 2013, I retired from Government in order to take up politics full time. I thank Mr Mangwanani for his support as well as Retired Air Marshal, Cde Perence Shiri.
“The Vice President, Cde Chiwenga, supported my candidature and actually was the guest honour at a star rally at Chibuwe School. Above all, I would like to thank the voters for showing maturity during the election period. I will work very hard to make every member of the Musikavanhu constituency benefit from my efforts,’’ the retired Colonel, said.
Cde Murire is a holder of several qualifications. He has a Bachelor of Business Studies, Master of Business Studies and a PhD in Loss Control Management. He has written extensively in loss management.
His first port of call are roads which need urgent attention but he said he would be a hands on Member of Parliament.