MUTASA — THE Benza brothers in Mutasa district are embroiled in a wrangle with the local Member of Parliament over the rehabilitation of a road in the area.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
The brothers, now known as the “Mutasa twins” Innocent and Gerald, attracted attention after the July 31 elections for flighting numerous newspaper and television advertisements together with their pictures, congratulating President Robert Mugabe for winning.
Mutasa Central MP, Trevour Saruwaka (MDC-T) last week alleged that Innocent who lost to him in the elections, was trying to hijack a road rehabilitation project he initiated.
The road under the political storm is the Watsomba-Sherukuru dust road which links the two main business hubs in the constituency.
The road is being rehabilitated by Plan International and the District Development Fund (DDF).
Saruwaka alleged that the Benza brothers were moving around claiming that the road project was their initiative. The Benza brothers are Zanu PF members.
“We started this project in 2011,” Saruwaka said. “We had meetings with the traditional leadership, donors, the government and community leaders regarding it,” he said.
“Using my influence as an MP, I managed to establish partnerships with Plan International Zimbabwe and the DDF. The community provided labour under the food for work initiative.”
MDC-T councillor and chairman for ward 17, Denshed Duri said the project was now being politicised as community members were now being given food and made to chant Zanu PF slogans.
“There is now confusion and many people now think that Benza (Innocent) is the MP. The Benza brothers are moving everywhere at meetings and funerals, telling villagers that Innocent is the MP,” he alleged.
MUTASA TWINS ARE INVOLVED IN ‘FREE’ PROJECTS
Gerald, one of the Benza Brothers said they welcomed the development of the area and would not work towards blocking other players.
“We have not hijacked that project. We are only complementing it by providing food for the people who are working on it,” he said. “We found out that the people who are providing labour were hungry and it was of major concern to us and we have been supplying them with food.”
On why people were made to chant Zanu PF slogans he said: “They know us as Zanu PF people and they felt that chanting the Zanu PF slogans would be a way to thank us or a way to show their appreciation towards us.”
Gerald said [they] the “Mutasa twins” were involved in several other projects including road construction for free in wards 11, 12, 13 and 16.