Makokoba legislator Tshinga Dube has dared opposition parties vowing to contest in the constituency saying he was taking no prisoners as he was almost hundred percent confident of retaining the seat.
The MDC Alliance, which is likely to pose a serious threat to the former War Veterans minister, has already opted for James Sithole — currently a seating councillor — to represent them for the constituency’s parliamentary election.
Also not to be overlooked is the Joice Mujuru-led People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) which has chosen former senator Matson Hlalo for the same constituency.
What, however, makes Makokoba constituency — which houses one of the oldest suburbs in the city — a more interesting and centre for attention is how Dube has had the constituency at the core of his heart and soul, so much that twice, he suffered major heartbreaks after losing a contest for the seat.
Firstly, it was in 2008, at the peak of Zimbabwe’s economic comatose and he had another attempt in 2013.
The loss was too much for him that at one point, he wanted to quit.
However, as fate would have it, after the MDC recalled its rebel legislators in 2015, Dube felt it was time to give it another try during the by-elections which were boycotted by the opposition, citing electoral irregularities.
Luckily, the gods smiled on him as he finally got it right.
In all these years, Dube has done something that has been received with mixed feelings across the constituency, including financial assistance.
This ranges from bringing foreign musicians to perform, foodstuff donations, sponsoring sporting activities and providing free health services to the community among others.
His opponents have seen it as clear vote-buying but he has always been called to defend himself.
“I have been giving to the people of Makokoba, even those outside the constituency, way before I became a Member of Parliament.
“This is how I was brought up to give and give as long I have the capacity to do so. Besides, I don’t segregate anyone on political grounds, I just give everyone,” Dube told church leaders after donating tonnes of maize to distribute to the needy over the weekend.
“Amidst all this, and with the election date yet to be announced, Dube feels he already has an upper hand ahead of everybody in the fight for the constituency.
“I am almost 99 percent confident of winning the seat,” he said.
Asked where he derives the confidence from, Dube said: “I trust the people. When you work well with people, we should learn to trust each other.”
He also explained the reason why he had found it tough to earn the ticket to Parliament in the past.
“It was simply because the people in the constituency had not ‘understood us’”.
“The MDC has been in charge here for about 15 years but they have done nothing, so the people have now realised that this is false belief.
“They now know that we are the game-changer in town.”
Observers are of the view that Dube is likely to bank on the vote dividing by various opposition parties who have characterised the political arena lately.