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Tongai Muzenda: It runs in the family

09 Jul, 2013 - 00:07 0 Views
Tongai Muzenda: It runs in the family

The Herald

At first you would want to dismiss him as someone basking in the glory of his parents but speak to him and you will discover that the man is well schooled in party ideology and carries a vision for his people.

“I owe it to my parents. They taught us the correct political ideology from a tender age. Mudhara Mzee would not miss a moment to educate us on the importance of Zimbabwe’s independence, sovereignty and liberation struggle.

“Although I was young to have gone to the liberation struggle, I got enough teaching from my old man,” Zanu-PF Gutu West candidate Cde Muzenda said.
Tongai Muzenda is VP Muzenda and Amai Muzenda’s last born son and will be battling it out with MDC-T’s Phillip Bohwasi and Man’ombe Fabion of the MDC.

“It’s a forgone matter in Gutu West. The elections are a mere formality. My work speaks for me.
“I will gladly invite those who doubt to the constituency. I have been doing this since 2003 and hence there is nothing new,” the humorous Cde Muzenda said.

Cde Muzenda holds a degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe and an MBL from the University of South Africa. He is married to Constance and they have two children, a boy and a girl.

His political activism started in the early 80s in Lower Gweru. At independence the family had moved to Gweru from Mvuma.
Politically conscious as he was, Cde Muzenda was to fit easily in the Zanu Youths Gweru branch.

“Then we could mix with Zapu youths and there were always running battles as it was the time of the dissident era.
“I rose within the ranks from the cell to becoming deputy chair of the youth league in Gweru District.

“I was educated and worked in Gweru.
“At UZ I was appointed secretary for economics for the Student Representative Council in 1986-7.

“On completion I went to work in Gweru and continued with my political activities in the youth league,” he said.
In 2002 Cde Muzenda relocated to Gutu where he has a farm. He joined Zanu-PF youth structures and was elected deputy secretary for youth in 2003.

He tried to contest for the chairperson of the Gutu District Co-ordination Committee but the elections had to be called off after some disputes that led to dissolution of the party’s DCCs.

“All this time I have been doing a lot of charity work and also sponsoring the Gutu Half Marathon started by Mudhara Mzee.
“My work with the people could have forced people to approach me to stand as Zanu-PF candidate for Gutu West constituency in the House of Assembly elections. I went into the primaries and the rest is now history.

I am propelled by the need to carry on the legacy left by the old man, Mzee and the wish to complete the many projects he started for the people of Gutu,” he said.
Cde Muzenda is also a successful farmer and grows a lot of wheat.

Depending on the water available that year, he plants an average of 40-60 hectares annually.
This year he did not plant much as he still has stock form last year and that water reservoirs are low.

“I decided to hold on to my crop because the prices that were on offer are too low. I decided to keep the wheat so that I will feed disadvantaged people in my community.”
Cde Muzenda appealed for unity among Zanu-PF cadres who contested in the party primaries saying they had to focus on the bigger task ahead of them, that of winning the harmonised elections resoundingly.

“We are working together to bring unity in the constituency.
“Only last week all candidates who participated in the Zanu-PF primaries in Masvingo Province met to chart the way forward. We agreed that we should work together as a party.

“Actually in Gutu West, one of the candidates that participated in the primary has offered me one of his trucks for campaigning,” he said.
Cde Muzenda, who is running a feeding programme for orphans and disadvantaged people in Gutu, said he would ensure that projects started by VP Muzenda are completed.

“I have a come to finish Dr Mzee’s vision. There are a lot projects that my father started that remain unfinished. Even the roads started by my father during his tenure are yet to be completed,” he said.

Cde Muzenda said efforts were underway to establish small canning projects to ensure that community has some income.
“We have a lot of mangoes and guavas and I feel we need to process these so that our people get an income. The programme is at an advanced stage.

“Another giant project I have is the construction of the Golf course in Serima.
“If you are aware of the geography of Gutu, you will know that there is a beautiful valley that I think I can use to promote golf tourism.

“We also have in mind a Mzee Academy in Gutu.
“I have already courted the support of successful people who originate from Gutu and you will see these projects begin taking shape soon,” he added.

Other projects in the pipeline, he said, include a cattle fattening project with a local company and small grains production programme for the area.
“People can no longer continue growing maize because the climate is becoming more unfavourable.

“Our children must be taught that millet and rapoko are also sadza. There is need for a sustainable food programme and people should contribute.
“After the elections, I will start road and irrigation schemes rehabilitation exercises. I will be knocking on the doors of the District Development Fund for support in these projects,’’ he said.

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