With the Parliament of Zimbabwe resuming sitting this afternoon, after last year’s Christmas holiday break, Members of Parliament (MPs) from Matabeleland have pledged to continue articulating issues affecting the region.
Both the National Assembly and Senate will be sitting for the first time this year, marking the beginning of the second session of the ninth Parliament.
Legislators who spoke to CITE said they were geared-up to continue articulating Matabeleland issues.
Bulawayo proportional representation MP, Jasmine Toffa said she was the people’s servant and ready to continue articulating issues affecting her constituency.
“For me, the number one thing on my mind is the issue of birth certificates,” she told CITE.
“That is for me very important and the basic foundation for any living soul to be relevant because without one people cease to exist. That is my number one.”
Toffa said she would continue fighting for the full implementation of the devolution of power to provinces and electoral reforms, arguing without them Matabeleland’s marginalisation could be further compounded.
The legislator said she would continue to engage with various stakeholders as she plays her representation role in the august house.
“Engagement with the people is paramount because it is from the people that I get my mandate,” she explained.
“I will continue to engage the public through traditional means of meeting in halls and public spaces as well as those requested by the people without of course leaving out social media etc.”
Cognisant of the fact that Matabeleland is a mining region, Toffa said she would fight to ensure that the mining legislation was pro-poor.
“It also goes without saying that women in the mining sector need deliberate legislation to protect them against victimisation; I have come across a number of cases, one in Silobela and another in Inyati to name but a few where viable mines have been taken away from women with trumped up charges and the women are being bullied from their mines,” she said.
The MP said the issue of education in Matabeleland needed a serious relook citing the side-lining of teachers from the region in the government’s teacher deployment exercise.
Bulawayo East member of National Assembly, Ilos Nyoni, who spoke to CITE from Harare Monday afternoon, said he was also up to the task.
“Most of the parliamentary work is done at committee level,” he said.
“I am a member of the Transport committee and Industry and commerce committee. As a member of the Transport committee I will articulate the issue of road networks in our region. Roads like Bulawayo -Nkayi, Bulawayo-Tsholotsho, Kwekwe-Nkayi-Lupane and Bulawayo-Maphisa need urgent attention.”
Nyoni said he would push that ZINARA (Zimbabwe National Roads Administration) allocates resources to cover at least 20km of each of the roads by year-end.
“I will also be looking forward to the alignment of legislation to the new constitution, for example, section 264 of our Constitution requires that there should be an establishment of Provincial Councils and five percent of National budget should be allocated to those councils,” said Nyoni.
“To date, no Act of Parliament has been promulgated to establish the Provincial Councils.
Provincial councillors were elected in 2018 elections and they have still not been sworn-in because relevant legislation has not been finalised.”
Pelandaba-Mpopoma MP, Charles Moyo, said he would also push for the full implementation of devolution and resuscitation of Bulawayo industries for the creation of jobs for the unemployed millions in Matabeleland.