Debunking the Roles of MPs and Councillors
Zimbabweans have been urged to elect competent parliamentarians and councillors in the
forthcoming harmonized election scheduled for next year.
This comes at a time voices of dissent over a failing economy, poor service delivery and
gross human rights abuses are growing louder.
Also growing louder are campaign promises of better representation, while some political
aspirants are already engaged in developmental initiatives meant to entice voters to their side.
In Hurungwe, ZANU PF parliament aspirant Nelson Kangausaru is busy with road repairs,
and educational initiatives including payment of school fees for the less privileged.
He pledges to do more if voted into power.
In Goromonzi South, Ward 25 council aspirant Wisdom Mlambo is already at work in setting
up horticulture projects and subsequent market spaces.
Developmental activities will only increase as elections draw nearer, while vote buying
mainly through food handouts will soon be rampant.
Campaign messages and wayward promises sets up high expectations in the electorate,
leading to anticipation of development which is beyond one’s roles as stipulated by the laws.
Linda Musarira, president of Lead, an opposition political party said most councillors and
legislators ride on the popularity of their president.
“An MPs role in parliament is to legislate, represent and to provide oversight,” said Musarira.
“Unfortunately, the majority of Zimbabweans do not even have an appreciation of why they
vote for an MP or a councillor because their opinions or votes are based on the most popular
presidential candidate without thorough interrogation on whether the candidate can solve the
underlying issues which will be affecting the electorate.
“It is imperative for the electorate to understand that a legislator role is to formulate laws
through representation of the issues raised in the constituency.”
Musarira said there is need to educate the electorate on one’s roles and responsibilities.
“All development projects require funding. Political parties, electorate and media have in
most instances portrayed Members of Parliament as responsible for road repair, building
schools, and stock drugs at a local clinic.
“No one has educated the electorate where the money for road constructing expected to be
done by a member of parliament will come from.”
Political analyst Lesley Muteyiwa said community development lies in the jurisdiction of
“Councillors through money disbursed from central government and revenue collected in
their area has the mandate to set the development agenda working with their communities,”
“The parliamentarian has a duty to influence and convince local council to important
developmental project in their constituencies.
“A member of parliament has the responsibility to engage government departments which are
for developmental projects.
“On roads, borehole and others the MP can engage District Development Fund (DDF). It
does not necessarily mean the MPs engagement with DDF will see the roads and boreholes in
the constituency repaired. DDF does not take orders from an Mp.”