Newly-elected Kwekwe Central Member of Parliament, Judith Tobaiwa (35), has vowed to push for changes required to ensure that the majority poor benefit from the city’s gold instead of ruling Zanu PF elites.
Tobaiwa polled got 6 639 votes in weekend by-elections to win the seat for the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), defeating Zanu PF’s local gold mining magnate John Mapurazi (2 883) and two others.
Speaking to journalists after the elections, Tobaiwa said gone are the days when Zanu PF elites controlled the often deadly gold mining sector in the Midland’s second-largest city. She said:
Mining is the backbone of Kwekwe Central and most of our youths are engaged in artisanal mining which is often dangerous due to its associated risks and also violence in the same pits.
As a legislator, I want to make sure that everyone benefits from the mineral resources in Kwekwe.
What we are currently seeing in Kwekwe is very saddening; only those who are benefitting from the mineral resource are aligned to Zanu PF.
Looking back at the election campaign, Tobaiwa said the road to victory was rough adding that she was exposed to violence as the ruling party sensed that she was going to defeat Mapurazi.
She, however, said the experience was water under the bridge as she is now focused on improving people’s livelihoods in the constituency.
Kwekwe Central fell vacant following the death in July 2020 of opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF) parliamentarian Masango Matambanadzo.