Matabeleland South’s only female National Assembly candidate for Zanu-PF
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief
FOR Cde Sindisiwe Nleya (43), winning a ticket to represent Zanu-PF in Mangwe Constituency in the coming harmonised elections after romping to victory in the internal polls means that she has to work extra hard.
She is the only woman representing the party out of 11 other Parliamentary seats, which are up for grabs in Matabeleland South Province.
Cde Nleya, who is the council chairperson for Mangwe Rural District Council and the ruling party’s provincial Women’s League chair, beat the incumbent Mangwe Member of Parliament, Cde Hlalani Mguni during the recent primary elections.
The province has 12 constituencies after losing one following the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delimitation exercise.
Cde Nleya is the only female in the province who sailed through and will represent the revolutionary party at the National Assembly level.
She has managed to penetrate spheres that were once dominated by men. Cde Nleya is the first woman to hold the position of council chairperson for Mangwe Rural District Council.
She became a councillor at the age of 21 in 2001, a leadership role that she has held for 22 years.
In an interview, Cde Nleya said while her victory has brought her so much joy, it also symbolises the beginning of a great task that lies ahead.
“I feel really honoured to have won the primary elections. It’s a sign that people believe in my leadership capabilities. At the same time, I feel challenged as I have a huge task ahead of me of ensuring that the party retains this seat,” she said.
“The fact that I’m the only woman among 11 men who won the elections at the constituency level even challenges me more. I have a huge role to represent women and to show that women are capable of leading and prepared to work extra hard and diligently to ensure that my party gets this seat.”
Cde Nleya said Zanu-PF’s focus is to bring development to the people.
“I believe that I have brought a lot of development to my ward and it is now time for me to develop my constituency. Mangwe has a lot of resources and investment opportunities which can help improve livelihoods and modernise the entire constituency,” she said.
Cde Nleya said her major target is to improve people’s standard of living.
“As a leader, I always put the interests of people first and ensure that I deliver to the fullest. It’s also important that we upgrade ourselves so that we remain relevant and give people improved services,” she said.
When Nleya assumed her role as a councillor she was a mere holder of an O-level certificate. She pursued her studies and attained a BSc Honours Degree in Peace, Conflicts and Governance from Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) in 2018.
Cde Nleya said the desire to excel in community leadership inspired her to pursue studies in that field.
Born in Makuzeze Village in Mangwe District, Cde Nleya did her primary education at Tshitshi Primary School before proceeding to Tahangana High School where she completed her O-level studies.
During her 22 years in council, Cde Nleya managed to modernise her ward and improve the living conditions of community members.
She also spearheaded the establishment of 13 solar-powered piped water schemes in her area, an initiative that saw some 118 homesteads installing taps.
Institutions have also benefited from the piped water schemes. Cde Nleya has also facilitated the repairing of four dams in her area which has improved the water supply for livestock. Community members have also managed to start gardening, small irrigation, and brick moulding projects using water from the dams and piped water schemes.
Other candidates who sailed through the primaries at the constituency level include Cde Albert Nguluvhe who will represent the ruling party in Beitbridge East, Cde Thusani Ndou (Beitbridge West), Cde Dingumuzi Phuthi (Bulilima Constituency), Cde Lungisani Ncube (Gwanda North), Cde Omphile Marupi (Gwanda South), Cde Edgar Moyo (Matobo North), Cde Soul Ncube (Matobo-Mangwe), Cde Farai Taruvinga (Insiza North), Cde Levi Mayihlome (Umzingwane) and Cde Fisani Moyo (Gwanda-Tshitaudze). There will be a rerun in Insiza South. -@DubeMatutu