SM: Since you assumed office in 2013, what are some of the notable changes that you can proudly identify with?
MN: Since I assumed office, I donated exercise books, chalk and covers to Mutowani primary school in March 2014. This was after I realised that there was a gap at the school and they needed assistance.
Working with Friends of the Environment, a non-governmental organisation, and in partnership with the local communities, we managed to plant over 3,000 trees in the area.
There is an irrigation project at Chitowa, but because the dam had developed a crack, the beneficiaries of the project were no longer engaging in their farming activities. With the assistance of the District Development Fund, we managed to repair the crack and over 27 youths are now involved in income generating projects using the dam. They are growing carrots, beans and leafy vegetables.
SM: What challenges have you encountered in your quest to bring development to your constituency?
MN: Lack of resources – especially towards improving our road networks. Murehwa North has very poor roads and I believe that the carnage on our roads is because of our failure to rehabilitate our road networks.
Poor road networks make it easier for the middlemen who come and buy directly from our farmers to pay them paltry amounts of money for their produce. This is because there is no transport that frequents this area and when it comes, it is expensive – especially if you want to take your produce to big markets such as Mbare in Harare.
For the whole constituency, we have no fire brigade and only one ambulance. We rely on the fire brigade that comes from Harare in the event that there is an emergency and we need one. Murehwa hospital is our main referral health centre, but there are no x-ray facilities and people have to travel to Mutoko or Harare if they need to have x-rays.
The hospital does not have an incubator for babies born prematurely. This is contributing to the high numbers of child deaths in the area. Cases have to be transferred to Mutoko or Harare and sometimes they do not make it.
SM: Which areas specifically in your view should be scaled up to ensure that Zimbabwe promotes the development agenda, especially for women and girls in rural communities?
MN: My understanding is that Zimbabwe is party to international and regional instruments for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. However, the main challenge we face is that there is limited coordination and implementation of the national management systems towards poverty alleviation.
Civil society organisations in partnership with government through the local leadership should promote equal participation of women in all spheres – social, economic and political. There should be equitable access to productive resources without discriminating along gender lines.
Resources should be channelled towards development projects and community participation should be prioritised, considering that people are best placed to come up with solutions to their own challenges.
SM: What is your advice to youths, considering the high level of unemployment?
MN: The current economic challenges are affecting everyone regardless of political affiliation. Unity of purpose is the key to finding a lasting solution to our challenges. My advice to youths is that they must be innovative and come up with practical solutions to their challenges.
Take for example, desertification: youths can come up with solutions to addressing such challenges while at the same time developing income-generating initiatives for themselves and their families. Educated as we are as a nation, there is need for young people to practice their skills in their communities and put into action their knowledge.Post published in: News