Sibanda wants to be minister

BULAWAYO Central legislator Dorcas Sibanda says she hopes to be appointed minister in the event that both she and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai win the next elections.

Nqobile Bhebhe

“I just don’t want to be an MP and end there,” she said, saying leadership was God-given.
“I will also respect what my party president will do in terms of appointments.
“In case he does not appoint me minister I will also respect that, but I will wait for God’s time although I am aiming high.”

As she seeks re-election, Sibanda said that there were many projects that she needed to complete and that the $50 000 constituency development fund (CDF) was inadequate.

“The constituency development fund was not enough for me to complete the projects, hence I am asking the people of Bulawayo Central to vote for me again,” she said, adding that in Kenya legislators received $1 million.

“I strongly feel the people of Bulawayo Central should re-elect me to finish my tasks.”
But this is not likely to win her friends, as there have been complaints that in some constituencies, legislators had abused the fund.

Sibanda said CDF should be increased to $200 000 so she could finish the projects she initiated.
“When I was elected in 2008, I told Bulawayo Central people through my manifesto that I would take care of certain issues affecting the constituency such as education, health and roads,” she said.
“The infrastructure in schools had deteriorated to alarming levels.

“I repaired infrastructure in several primary schools such as Robert Tredgold, Moray and Newmansford Primary schools.”

In a wide ranging interview with Southern Eye on Wednesday, Sibanda said her 2008-2013 action plan for Bulawayo Central had several outstanding projects that she was desperate to complete.
But Sibanda will have her work cut out as her critics claim she has not exactly covered herself in glory in the past five years.

There were reports that she was not paying rentals at a house where she was staying, while a Ntabazinduna family had to seek the intervention of lawyers. Again she was alleged not to be paying for a shop she was leasing.

She said her passion to serve and the economic decline, forced her to retire at the National Railways of Zimbabwe after working there for 12 years.

However, despite expressing confidence that she would return to the august House, Sibanda is worried about her 2008 winning margin being slim.

She won 3 786 votes, with second-placed Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube of the rival MDC polling
3 553.

“I am aware of that gap,” she said.

“The gap was very slim. It was a tight election, but what gives me hope are the figures we got in the referendum.

“The margin between Ndabeni-Ncube and myself is nothing to write home about, but I will not underestimate my opponents.”

Ndabeni-Ncube is not running for the seat this time around and Sibanda will face Mlungisi Moyo of Zanu PF, Sibongile Maphosa of MDC, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn’s Maidza Chapwanya, Linda Dube of Alliance Khumbula Ekhaya (AKE), Angirayi Selwin Kwembeya of the United Movement for One Cause and Zapu’s Clemence Sibanda.
Sibanda said she has not encountered any intimidation in her campaigns, but “anything can happen in the remaining days to elections”.

On voter registration, Sibanda said Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should have extended the deadline, but said people werealso to blame for not meeting the deadline.

The MDC-T Bulawayo vice-chairperson said the reports of factionalism in the province were not entirely true.

“The party has been infiltrated by Zanu PF members and some of them have posts in the province,” she said.
“So the issue of factionalism and chaos depends on who you speak with, but the province is united and all candidates are working hard to win.”

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