MR Witness Jonga, one of the candidates who lost the right to represent Zanu-PF in the forthcoming harmonised elections, says the loss was, to an extent, a blessing in disguise.
Mr Jonga and four other contestants lost to Barnwell Seremwe in the Zanu-PF primary elections for the Mount Darwin West constituency.
“Apart from the experience and exposure, I also learnt valuable lessons. Politicians often take the electorate for granted,” Mr Jonga, who came third in this election, said.
According to Mr Jonga, one of the factors that contributed to his unsuccessful bid was his prolonged absence from the constituency.
“I was born and grew up here but I am now based in Harare where I run a construction company. Before the elections, I did not spend as much time as possible with the people that I wanted to represent.”
Added Mr Jonga: “To the people of Mount Darwin West, I was a stranger of some sort who could not easily identify with them. Although I initiated several community projects, it was a bit too late.”
Despite the loss, Mr Jonga is working hand-in-glove with Mr Seremwe as the duo seeks to develop their home area.
The Sunday Mail Society recently caught up with Mr Jonga at Karuru village where he donated building materials for the renovation of a former farm house into a clinic.
Before the opening of the clinic, the nearest clinic was at Mutungagore, some 22 kilometres away.
With a staff complement of three, the establishment of the clinic is a perfect example of how politicians, communities and local councils should work together to reach common goals. Apart from remunerating the staff, the Mt Darwin Rural District Council also donated the equipment and medicine.
Mr Jonga‘s vision is to make health accessible to all wards at the shortest distance possible. For the clinic to sustain itself, Mr Jonga donated 1 000 day-old chicks for the community as a start-up project.
Classroom blocks at Karuyana Primary School were also renovated.
There has been a massive dropout of pupils with only 146 out of the 850 pupils that enrolled at the school remaining.
Mr Jonga said his community projects are driven by the desire to serve.
“I have a passion to serve. Although I lost the primaries, I’m not going to stop helping the needy. I have a desire to serve,” Mr Jonga said.
Ward 21 councillor Mr Edward Musekiwa commended Mr Jonga for the work that he is doing for the locals.
“To be honest, I was surprised when Mr Jonga phoned, advising me that he was sending in money to pay the builders. This was despite the fact that he lost in the primaries. Few people would do that,” Mr Musekiwa said.
He said the projects go a long way in elevating the lives of the people in the community. Mr Jonga also donated 500 day-old chicks to the 22 wards in Mount Darwin West.
Schools in the constituency have, in recent years, recorded high numbers of school dropouts and child marriages.
The pass rate at Karuyana has dropped from 81 percent in 2010 to 23 percent in 2017. Due to logistical problems, the school is yet to switch to the new curriculum which was introduced in 2016.
Mr Edwin Samuriwo, the Mt Darwin West ZANU-PF vice chairman, said Mr Jonga has a passion for development.
“His goal is to develop this area. The country needs such people,” Mr Samuriwo said.
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