By Dumisani Nyoni
Lupane, October 26, 2016 – WHILE Obert Mpofu could be boasting about his riches and enjoying popular support in his Matabeleland North constituency, he may well be reminded that in the very same constituency, there are villagers who still lead lives of stone-age scavengers through abject poverty.
Villagers in remote Lusulu area in Lupane district have to go beyond the usual to find drinking water and to give to their livestock.
To them, transport, communication network, health and education facilities remain luxuries.
The area falls under Macro-economic planning and investment promotion minister Mpofu’s Umguza constituency.
Mpofu, owner of a giant business empire which includes buildings, companies and livestock often boasts of being voted into parliament through various developmental projects he runs in his constituency.
He remains among few Zanu PF politicians who have won their constituencies without resorting to intimidation.
But the situation on the ground in this part of his constituency tells a different story.
A visit to the area by RadioVOP this past week saw shocking testimonies of a people that have not had it easy.
Villagers living in DRC, Mkhutshwa and Mgijima in the area have no easy sources of water, both for human and livestock use.
Most depend on a river which usually dries up quickly and are often to travel to Kana area, a distance away, in search of precious liquid.
Transport has also been a nightmare for villagers who first have to travel distances of up to 60 kilometres to access transport.
Those who cannot endure the distances have to make do with a single bus service which is only available four times a week.
Moreso, the bus that goes to Bulawayo usually travels during the night around 9pm.
The area also has no communication network in a country fast embracing modern forms of telecommunication
Schools, clinics are also too far.
Villagers were not happy they had to endure abject poverty 36 years after national independence.
“We are completely divorced from the government. We are like aliens in our own home country,” said one villager who identified himself as Ndumiso Dlomo.
Villagers implored the government and non-governmental organisations to come to their rescue.
“We need boreholes, dams, schools, clinics, booster and a good road network. We have suffered a lot,” one villager said.
Mpofu was not picking his phone when attempts to call him were made.