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The Day Chamisa Brought Life In Hopley


Hopley, a peri-urban suburb south of Harare with a population of about 200 000 people, was a beehive of activity today following a visit to the area by the opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to assess progress on the new clinic constructed by the City of Harare.

Just like Epworth and other slum settlements in Harare, child marriages and teenage pregnancies stands at 18 and 21 percent respectively with seventy per cent of women becoming mothers before they turn 24.

Dilapidated road infrastructure full of potholes and huge piles of garbage make up the unsightly aesthetic of this small community.

Today, Wednesday, Hopley exuded life after Chamisa’s visit at Tariro clinic and Youth Centre which will service the whole community and other surrounding areas.

Chamisa’s visit touched many residents who broke into song and dance as has become routine at all his outreach activities across the country.

“I have been healed, thank you president pastor (Nelson) Chamisa,” screamed one lady, presumably an avid supporter of the youthful opposition leader.

The woman, with a baby on her back, was one of a few hundred supporters who thronged this normally quite clinic.

Another supporter, a patient recovering from an unnamed ailment, kneeled down as the 41-year-old Chamisa passed by a handful of other patients waiting to be served at the newly built Tariro Clinic.

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Pastor Chamisa, as she called him, simply touched her head, helped her to stand before she screamed, “Thank you, Pastor, I’m feeling ok now, I can go home, I don’t need the pills anymore.”

Chamisa, long touted to be proverbial Moses, who would take Zimbabwe out of the murky economic and social waters that the country finds itself in is a pastor with a local pentecostal church.

“If ED had come here, we would have dealt with him, we don’t want to see him here. He is killing our hopes, we are suffering because of him,” one resident identified as Martin, told this publication.

Un-be-known to Martin is that Mnangagwa is expected visit the same place tomorrow, to officially open the clinic.

“We only recognise one president in this country, and that man is Chamisa, he brings hope to us. He cares for our lives, he heals us,” another youthful supports, Nathan Mushonga tells us after shaking Chamisa’s hand.

The youthful politician is not taking prisoners. He scoffed at rumors that Mnangagwa will open the clinic.

“Why should he open a clinic which is a local authority project? I know he has been opening supermarkets and litter bins. He has failed,” Chamisa tells the media.

He said Mnangagwa’s government had failed to provide medicines in hospitals and clinics countrywide.

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The government has promised, on several occasions, to alleviate the drug shortages but that has not changed. To the people of hopeless Hopley, the Government has turned a blind eye to their plight.

But, all hope is not lost, some of them are eager to hear what Mnangagwa will say, a day after his nemesis set the place ablaze.

“We are waiting patiently for ED, we want to judge him with what Chamisa said today. He has a bigger task at hand or else we will take to the streets and call for his resignation,” says Belinda, a young expecting mother.

Calls for Mnangagwa to resign have been getting louder with the government now paranoid as witnessed by the arrest of more than 20 people on charges of subverting a constitutional government.

For many, Chamisa is the alternative and he has kept them hoping, but the people in Hopley, need more than just hope, they need action, quickly.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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