A country at peace: Senator Gutu’s vision

Corruption is a cancer eating away at the fabric of Zimbabwean society, according to Senator Obert Gutu, the Deputy Minster of Justice.

Black Farmers who have benefitted from the initiatives pioneered by Gutu in the Chisipite area.
Black Farmers who have benefitted from the initiatives pioneered by Gutu in the Chisipite area.

“We should fight very hard to identify, curb and ultimately eliminate corruption in our judicial system and also in the Police Force and the Prison Service,” said Gutu.

Born at Gutu Mission Hospital on October 20, 1962, Gutu was the sixth child in a family of 10. He did his primary education at Gutu Mission primary school and later moved to Fletcher High School in Gweru where he spent six years before enrolling for a law degree at the University of Zimbabwe in 1982.

“All those civil servants and members of the uniformed forces who would like to be active politicians should resign and thereafter, freely participate in the political melting pot. A politician wearing a uniform and holding a gun is a very dangerous politician.”

Developmental projects

As Senator, Gutu has embarked on a number of developmental projects in his Chisipite constituency.

“In August 2011, I approached the Australian Embassy to source funds used to drill two boreholes in Ward 46, an area facing perennial water shortages. Currently, I am working on a project to provide 20 soccer balls, netballs and basketballs to all the wards in my constituency. You should bear in mind that as a Senator, I do not have access to CDF funds and so I have to use alternative means to raise money.”

A resident who benefitted from the boreholes sunk in Mabvuku praised Gutu’s initiative.

“We are very poor. We do not have the ability to sink our own boreholes like our neighbours in the affluent suburbs of Glen Lorne. We thank Senator Gutu for his donation which averted a typhoid outbreak here.”

Gutu has also tried to help his rural area in Gutu Central constituency by building a modern supermarket complex at Mushayavanhu Business Centre.

“More than 10 years ago, I donated a computer to Mushayavanhu High School and I understand this was the first computer at the school. My aim was to develop ICT in the rural areas that are lagging behind in technological advancement,” Gutu said.

From lawyer to politician

With a background in law, Gutu’s reasons for venturing into politics were influenced by the steady decline in living conditions and basic human rights nationwide.

“I felt I had to help my country in whatever small way I could, that is how I ended up in politics,” Gutu added.

The Senator sees his role as a key player in the democratization of Zimbabwe.

“The scourge of corruption has to be nipped in the bud. If there is anything that I hate with a passion, it is corruption. We can overcome our challenges on the political front mainly by encouraging and fostering a culture of tolerance and unity in diversity. The current political climate in Zimbabwe is poisoned by polarization across the political divide. There is a lot of hate and malice in our politics. This is primitive. It should stop!” Gutu said.

When asked what should be done to improve the justice delivery system Gutu said, “To improve the justice delivery system, we should first of all de-politicise our State institutions such as the judiciary, the Attorney-General’s office and the police. We should develop a culture of professionalism in all our government departments.

Family court system

“There have been a lot of changes since I was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs in June, 2010.For instance, the food situation in all our country’s prisons has significantly improved. All prisoners are getting three meals a day.

“We are also in the process of establishing a formal family court system and within the next few months, Zimbabwe will become one of the few countries in Africa to have one. This will help in handling family issues such as divorce, custody and maintenance of children as well as domestic violence,” Gutu said.

Gutu’s vision for the future of Zimbabwe is a country at peace where basic human rights are respected and the rule of law is upheld.

“I want Zimbabwe to be a country that denounces political intolerance, political violence and corruption. As soon as we exorcise the ghost of tyranny and dictatorship, I would be happy to practice law on a full-time basis.”

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