PEMBA UPND member of parliament Mutinta Mazoka has complained of serious frustration from district commissioner Reginald Mugoba.
But Mugoba has denied the allegations, claiming that he has never met Mazoka in a long time.
In an interview after donating buckets and hand washing sanitisers to clinics and trading areas in her constituency to help fight the coronavirus, Mazoka said Mugoba had on several occasions frustrated her projects in the constituency, including donations.
“I’m yet to speak to the DC (district commissioner) because he has always wanted to put me down. I brought buckets and hand washing sanitisers to donate to the public places like clinics and trading areas in my constituency for the people that voted for me, but this DC has directed civil servants not to accept my donations just to frustrate me. Now if you frustrate some developmental projects it means that you are not with the people,” Mazoka said.
“I’m an elected member of parliament, the welfare of people in my constituency is my welfare as well. I have their welfare at heart because that is what I was elected for and if someone comes and says ‘no, you are not supposed to be doing ABC’, what am I supposed to do? What am I here for? Why was I elected? I’m very frustrated and I want the DC to explain to me about how I’m supposed to work with the people.”
She said it was unfair for the district commissioner to frustrate her own initiatives of donating in her own small way to give to the people that elected her.
“The DC was not elected, he is a presidential appointee, a political appointee. He is a political functionary for PF, so he cannot come here and frustrate my work,” Mazoka said.
“It’s very unfortunate that we have a DC who is a party functionary and made himself to be master of all. He is into maize, mealie meal, into anything just because his party is in power; that is not good.”
She reminded Mugoba that he was not the one taking relief food to Pemba, but herself who was lobbying for the commodity from the Office of the Vice-President’s Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity (DMMU).
“What hurts me most is that after I ask for this food from DMMU, when it comes here in Pemba people are denied the same maize I sourced. The maize comes here, it is locked up; people are unable to buy freely, they are being curtailed,” Mazoka complained. “Just now I heard a story that rotten mealie meal has been distributed in Pemba. So this government would rather wait for the mealie meal to rot! And now people have harvested, that’s when the district administration is bringing their rotten mealie meal to the people which was locked up from the time it came; are my people dogs? Even a dog if you love it you can’t give it rotten food like that mealie meal.”
Mazoka said women were scared of aspiring for political leadership because society judged them more than their male counterparts.
“It’s harder for women in the country to go into politics because we are being undermined every day as women and then society easily judges our performance than that of our male counterparts,” said Mazoka. “For example, I’m here in my constituency and I happen to be the first female MP here since 1964. And then someone can easily say ‘we had a female MP, she didn’t do anything’ and ignoring the failures of my predecessors – ‘So why should we not look for another one especially a man this time around?’ Why? Because the central government isn’t doing its duties. It isn’t looking at few women holding constituencies to empower them to deliver, so that society is encouraged to also work with women.”
But when contacted, Mugoba claimed that he was not even aware of Mazoka’s presence in the constituency.
“I have not met with the MP, so how can she say that I’m frustrating her? In what way? Regarding donations, we have a system in place that all those who want to donate must follow. There are two channels for donations: one is through the district Disaster Management and Mitigation Unity and the other one is through the District Epidemic Preparedness Committee. So, the guidelines are very clear,” said Mugoba. “Yes, we donated mealie meal three weeks ago and to date no one has come to complain that they received rotten mealie meal. As for the FRA maize we were selling, it was the councillors that were curtailing their own people because it’s them who were writing names and bringing them to me as DC to sign for them. It’s her own UPND councillors who even went to deposit the monies to the bank. So, really, I don’t know what the MP is accusing me to have done.”
Meanwhile, Pemba council chairman Livai Simuchumba warned Mugoba against meddling in other people’s duties.
“Us we were voted by the people and they except us to deliver. So I’m warning Mugoba to stay away from our line of duty. Let him just concentrate on organising his PF party and not to cross our path because we have a goal to achieve, which is to take development to our people.” said Simuchumba.