By Byron Mutingwende
Honourable Betty Nhambu-Kaseke, the Member of the House of Assembly for Kuwadzana was catapulted into Parliament on a ruling party Zanu (PF) ticket in 2015 following by-elections in the constituency but has brought considerable development in the short space of time she has been in charge of the area.
Spiked Online Media went into Kuwadzana Constituency and caught up with the youthful legislator who is a philanthropist awarded many accolades including the 2017 Top Community Leader of the Year by the Zimbabwe Business Awards and the Women’s Top Leadership Excellence Award and Business Development Award.
The state of infrastructure in most urban areas is currently deplorable. Harare City Council in particular, under which Kuwadzana Constituency lies, is facing financial challenges resulting in roads being potholed and transportation a nightmare. There was also a challenge crossing from one point to another because of the river in the locality. The MP decided to build a bridge.
MP participates in bridge construction
“You agree with me that the President Cde ED Mnangagwa in his inauguration speech and also in the following speeches that he has made so far, made references to infrastructure development in the rural, urban and semi urban areas. In support of that vision of the President l’ve decided to construct the bridge. A bridge which besides helping a local community in crossing from one point to another which has been hampered quite some time because of the stream that is in existence because of water. I’ve decided to build the bridge in support of the Presidents vision on infrastructure development. Of course as l’ve alluded to. this bridge will assist the Kuwadzana community to unite and not to be divided by streams. lt is also important to the GDP of the economy.This is the development our President ED is talking about and I am in support of that as MP for the area,” Hon Nhambu-Kaseke said.
The local community was 100 % involved in the project and it was the community effort. Local stakeholders also gave a hand but the majority of the resources were from her personal means.
“All this sacrifice was motivated because of the love that l have for my people and my constituency, but l would like to applaud the local community for providing labour.”On the issue of the 100 days vision of the President, the legislator said performance measurement was important as it leads to some benchmarks set for and to assess those performing or not.
“It’s a great way of doing things which we are seeing from our visionary leader President ED Mnangangwa. Now it’s upon the ministers to show the nation that they are competent people and that they can deliver the set targets and deliver whatever is expected from them by His Excellency Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. That’s the way we want to see things going so they must perform. But they need to be supported with resources and l’m sure His Excellency has done that supporting them with human resources and with financial resources. “
The ministry of water donated two boreholes while Hon Nhambu-Kaseke donated 15 boreholes to the constituency. There are plenty of other infrastructure development projects brought by the MP to the constituency. The roads are being rehabilitated. To improve the lighting, the MP facilitated the erection of a tower-light.
“We thank our MP for sinking boreholes and working on development of educational infrastructure for the ECD, primary and secondary schools in the constituency. These are the things she has done for the constituency and going forward she said she still has a lot of work to do. We are happy that she promised to construct a clinic with a maternity ward and to repair roads damaged by the rains,” said Givemore Magara, a Kuwadzana resident who aspires to be a councillor in one of the wards within the constituency.
Before the construction of the bridge the situation was really bad. People would pass through the sewage-infested water, exposing them to different water-borne diseases but the coming up of this bridge brought relief to the community.
The MP will consult residents on how best to use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
“The CDF has been talked about since 2013 so if it comes we will look at the priorities since there are a number of things which need to be put in place to ensure accountability before the resources are released. So far, we are working with various stakeholders and some are submitting their expectations. We are going to sit down and deliberate on prioritisation of some of the programmes which have been submitted. Already we have programmes such as water supply through sinking of more boreholes, electricity supply and the construction of a police station . At the round about along Bulawayo Road, a lot of accidents are happening between Kuwadzana 7 and Extension so some people want robots to minimise the accidents.
MP participating in road rehabilitation in the constituency
There are many projects for women empowerment. The legislator has empowered not only women but the girl child as well through beauty pageants. As for women empowerment, there are more than 30 groups of women of at least 15 people per group who are into serious different business activities such as hardware, tuck-shops, poultry, detergent and drink making, sewing, cross borders, catering and many more, just to mention a few.
Beauty pageants sponsored by Hon Nhambu-Kaseke
“After discovering the sleeping giant in the community with a lot of inherent ability among our women, l as a business woman then decided to enlighten them through business training in courses such as entrepreneurship, record keeping, trade and taxation, internal savings and lending as well as marketing and market research, Hon Nhambu-Kaseke said.
Some of the products locally made by women for sale
This was facilitated by the then Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development in conjunction with the Ministry of small to medium enterprises together with Zimra and Zim trade. The training was paid for by the MP and they engaged a micro finance firm.
Women were trained in organic farming in Victoria Falls for a month and they have completed the course and are now doing gardening and orchards with the inputs supplied by the MP.”I sponsored a trip to South Africa for women in tourism and cross boarder trading. The main objective was to look for a new market and explore new business opportunities and act as an exchange programmes. Going forward in 2018, plans are already in place and we are going to set up different vibrant income generating projects since it’s now our culture to empower our women and the girl child in our community.”