Businessman Mupfumi hopes to reclaim constituency. “This is a chance for people to reflect on their experiences with me as MP before the 2018 election and what they had over the past two years. Esau Mupfumi is the only Zanu PF politician to ever be voted into parliament for an entirely urban constituency in Mutare since 2000.
And he is hoping to have a second bite of the cherry. The recalling of Dangamvura-Chikanga legislator and MDC Alliance chief whip Prosper Mutseyami is offering the businessman-cum-politician another opportunity to contest his former seat.
“I hope they will be a bit more objective about their political choices if a by-election is called for,” Mupfumi said. The former Dangamvura-Chikanga lawmaker has been a hard worker before, during and after his 2015 electoral victory.
During his tenure he even at one point moved to charm his often-distrustful constituency with an impassioned plea for forgiveness for unfulfilled promises. Mupfumi who has expended thousands of dollars in cultivating the urban constituency knows that the odds are against his party in an urban electoral contest against the opposition MDC.
In 2015 victory was handed to him on a silver platter when the MDC-T recalled Arnold Tsunga for allegedly crossing the floor to MDC Renewal before boycotting the polls.
The seat is an opposition stronghold which Zanu PF last won before MDC came into the fray back in the 2000 parliamentary election. Despite his 2018 electoral loss, Mupfumi has continued to actively engage the constituency by continuing to support its urban poor after he was designated the shadow-MP by his party.
He has not let up on providing water to areas without council water connections and providing his buses for funeral assistance. “I also availed buses at half the price when commuter omnibus operators were taking advantage of transport shortage to reap-off commuters before government introduced Zupco buses,” he said.
In fact, the Zupco model was inspired by his intervention, Mupfumi opines. “The Zupco model was inspired by what we had begun to do in Mutare.”
The Zanu PF central committee member said he has developed a special bond with the locals who gave him over 10 thousand votes in the populous constituency with nearly 60 thousand registered voters.
“Despite everything that has happened in my political career I have an attachment to this constituency,” he said. But all the good work do not always count for much for a Zanu PF politician in an urban setting.
Former Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo during his 2015 election campaign even once expressed sympathy for the top businessman’s vulnerability to being fleeced by both party fellows and locals-only to be dumped at the polls.
Mupfumi has previously committed resources to the city and like his late friend and fellow business mogul Shadreck Beta has often been taken for a ride by local residents who in spite of benefitting from their generosity have enjoyed dumping them on election day.
Chombo even likened Mupfumi’s situation to the late Bulawayo politician Sikhanyiso Ndlovu who he said always lost regardless of supplying Mpopoma residents truckloads of maize during their time of need, opening 12 butcheries across the constituency and dedicating a fleet of commuter omnibuses as well as funding many cooperatives.
Mupfumi is hopeful that his hard work and charm offensive will help him gain the trust of locals and secure him an electoral victory in the 2018 watershed election.
But he can only wish that years of service and hundreds of thousands of personal resources expended in philanthropic work in the constituency will be rewarded.
“I know they don’t trust my party,” Mupfumi said. “I hope they just give me the seat so that l can finish off this term as a show of gratitude.”
Source – Bulawayo24 News
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