BY SYDNEY KAWADZA
The Zanu PF juggernaut rolled into the small mining town of Bindura as the party’s politburo and senior government officials arrived in their chauffeur-driven luxury cars to attend the 19th annual conference.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his two lieutenants, Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi flew in on two helicopters.
It was the top of the range SUVs and other all-terrain vehicles that caught the eyes of the people of Bindura.
Politburo members, cabinet ministers and other senior party and government officials chose to attend the conference from Harare, hence the influx of the wide variety of vehicles that rolled into the mining town.
However, with proceedings going on at the Bindura University of Science Education, the ordinary people chose to go on with their business as usual, indicating that the sideshow was an unnecessary distraction as they decided to seek the elusive money with poverty levels quite high in the province.
Mashonaland Central remains one of the poorest provinces in Zimbabwe despite being home to large deposits of gold, nickel and chrome, among other minerals.
In interviews around the town, residents said the Zanu PF conference was for the top officials who were not worried about looking for money while the people were struggling to make ends meet.
“We have to earn a living and the good thing is that they have limited the numbers because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but all the same that is a meeting for the rich and famous so we would rather be working as usual,” a vendor Anesu Chanetsa said.
A foreign currency dealer at one leading retail shop expressed ignorance of the proceedings at the annual conference, adding that the roadshow had nothing to do with the ordinary people.
“We do not gain anything from that meeting and all the same these chefs are not even staying here and have chosen to drive themselves in their luxury cars from Harare,” he said.
Cecilia Kudzwayi, an informal trader, said the levels of poverty in the province was very high, calling on the leaders, both in government and the ruling party to consider the plight of the ordinary folks.
“People are struggling even to afford a single decent meal on a day and our leaders should meet the people to understand their plight before they hold these conferences while enjoying themselves,” she said.
Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mavhunga highlighted the challenges faced by people in the province.
The province does not have even a provincial hospital.
Two of the districts in Mashonaland Central, Mbire and Muzarabani, do not have government hospitals, according to Mavhunga.
Provincial chairman, Kazembe Kazembe also highlighted challenges associated with unequal distribution of resources, saying there were fights among youths on the various mines in the province.