By Elliot Jinjika
CHIVHU – When voted into office, some politicians in the country disappear from their constituencies and reappear at the next election time seeking support from the same electorate.
This outrageous trend is common in Chikomba West where the local Member of Parliament (MP) Dr John Mangwiro has rarely if at all been seen by much of his constituents.
A medical doctor by profession currently serving as Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Mangwiro stands accused of spending much of his time in Harare doing little to represent the interests of the people back home.
The constituency faces many problems that need the attention of the MP but he seems nowhere to be found, and this has drawn his more criticism than compliments.
One villager said Mangwiro was battling bad health and had totally neglected the constituency office where staff has now left for non-payment of their dues.
“We hardly hear about him and the constituency office he opened to deal with local issues is no longer giving any service. I heard he is not feeling well and he never attends programmes in this constituency where many problems abound,” said the villager.
Another villager said Mangwiro could be doing better job in the Ministry of Health but was obviously faring badly at local level.
As chairperson of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Africa Region, Mangwiro was scheduled to be the guest of honor at the World Diabetes Day held at Garwe Stadium in Chivhu.
He however, did not turn up and many of his villagers who had expected to meet him were further disappointed.
Last week Mangwiro sent representatives to Northwood Primary to convince parents that they allow their children to be transported to a neighbouring school for lessons pending the completion of classroom blocks at their own school.
His proposals were vehemently rejected by parents who felt the school should have been long-supported to put in place its own facilities than allow it to open its doors pre-maturely.
“We don’t even know him here since we voted him into office. Instead of chipping in by providing funds or sourcing funds for us to solve the problems at the school he is making bad suggestions. He is only looking for political mileage after being quiet for a very long period of time,” said one parent.
Chivhu Ratepayers and Residents Association (CHRRA) Chairperson Collen Zvarevashe lambasted Mangwiro’s record as Deputy Minister of Health, saying the situation at health institution in his constituency and the larger district was deplorable.
“Hospitals and clinics in Chivhu are faced with very big service delivery challenges and one would normally expect the deputy minister to do something as this is his own area. Who else can be better placed to understand local challenges than a deputy minister who comes from this area?
“He should have acted upon solar panels donated by UNDP lying idle at Chivhu Hospital but he did nothing. He never attends to the problems of this constituency, we are orphans. The MP should be in touch with the situation in his constituency and he should be seen to be working on the challenges we face,” said Zvarevashe.
When contacted for comment, Mangwiro said he had been battling ill-health for some time but was now fit to live up the expectations of people who voted for him.
“I have been out of the country for quite a long period of time and I thought it’s known that I have been battling ill health. I underwent a surgical operation but I can now confirm that I am fit and raring to go. I have a lot of projects in my plans. We have a lot to do,” said Mangwiro.