Pembi Bridge in Mvurwi has divided Zanu PF in Mashonaland Central province with supporters fighting over who should take credit for its completion between Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mavhunga and her predecessor, Martin Dinha.
The bridge, just before Mvurwi town, was completed last month and replaced the narrow and now-dilapidated bridge constructed in 1977 which had become a black spot for motorists.
However, reports are that its official opening was being delayed due to factionalism in Zanu PF.
“We are not happy with some politicians who want to claim credit for other people’s projects. This project was initiated by the former Mazowe North legislator and ex-Minister of State Dinha who made sure the funds were made available for the project,” claimed Brian Chipara from ward 29.
“We hear Mavhunga is claiming credit under the new dispensation. That is very bad. Let us give credit to those who deserve it.”
But other Zanu PF activists said credit should be given to Mavhunga for ensuring that the bridge was completed before the end of the year.
“What is clear is that the bridge was completed by Mavhunga soon after her appointment. Dinha had no time to concentrate on his constituency as he was busy working with white farmers during his tenure,” Sekai Mutero from ward 26, said.
Daniel Makamba of ward 28 said Dinha and Mavhunga as well as the current MP, Campion Mugweni and Zanu Mashonaland Central chairperson Kazembe Kazembe should not “pontificate” over the bridge.
“The truth of the matter is that the bridge is linked to the First Family interests in Kanyemba, so the success should be accorded to the Ministry of Transport,” Makamba said.
Kazembe refused to comment on the matter, saying he was attending a workshop and had not responded to questions sent to him.
Mavhunga was also not picking calls.
Contacted for comment, Dinha said he delivered on his promise to construct the bridge and did not care who claimed the credit.
“Many governors came and left it undone and I came with promises which I fulfilled,” he said.
“I left as MP and provincial minister when the bridge was almost complete. I proceeded to lobby for support for its completion while out of office. I do not care or mind what people say or claim on who gets credit. All I want is development in Zimbabwe,” Dinha said.
The bridge took three years to complete. It was initiated in July 2016 in the run-up to the Mazowe North by-election to replace the late Edgar Chidavaenzi. Dinha won the election after promising to refurbish the bridge.