By Nompumelelo Sibanda
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been exposed for hypocrisy when he singled out urban local authorities for “letting down” Zimbabweans yet deeper rot and dereliction of infrastructure manifests in rural authorities, including those under the watch of his top allies.
In his State of the Nation address Thursday, the President said “current urban local authorities have all failed us”, and expressed hope that the the devolution programme his administration was pursuing would change fortunes of communities suffering from neglect.
But in a massive reversal, some Zimbabweans exposed dug into the rot in Gokwe North district, where cash-rich Justice Mayor Wadyajena, is both Zanu-PF DCC chairperson and area MP. He is also a staunch supporter of and the President.
In a February 2021 amateur video shot in Gokwe-Nembudziya, delivery trucks are seen struggling to cross a river at the troublesome Kawongo bridge.
Wadyajena, who drived a US$400,000 Lamborghini Urus among other supercars, struggled to retrieve his Toyota Landcruiser from the same spot while on the 2018 elections campaign trail.
Commenting on the neglect in Gokwe-Nembudziya, former Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said: “Hey Nick Mangwana, as govt spokesperson you must know that the majority of Zimbabweans live in rural district councils run and ruined by Zanu-PF.
“Earlier you blissfully quoted @edmnangagwa’s crap that “the current Urban Local Authorities have failed us”. So, whose failure is this?”
But the Gokwe-Nembudziya neglect did not start with the current floods. In December last year, the Zimbabwe Voice reported that villagers in Nembudziya, Gokwe South and surrounding areas are making brisk business using their own manpower or ox-driven draught power to drag cars struggling to pass the district’s flooded rivers.
Villagers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Voice at that time said the most notorious spot during the rain season is at Kawongo Bridge along the road that connects Gokwe South and Gokwe North via Nemangwe.
Wadyajena himself has previously suggested that the problem was beyond the capacity of ward Councillors or the MP, and accused Government of doing little to ensure infrastructure remained intact in the Midlands area.
“Cde Nick let’s be honest, Gokwe North is being neglected. Old dispensation did zilch & still no infrastructure development there yet we see you post tarred roads to Chivi. Relay my message to your pals Hon @JbMatiza and @MthuliNcube, we’re now FED UP! I represent people not trees,” Wadyejena wrote on Twitter in 2018. – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺