I am not a loser: Mandiwanzira

JOURNALIST-cum-businessman -cum-politician Supa Mandiwanzira recently won the Zanu PF parliamentary ticket to represent the party in the forthcoming harmonised elections as its candidate for Nyanga South, Manicaland province. NewsDay reporter Moses Matenga (ND) spoke to Mandiwanzira (SM) on his political life, allegations of him losing his wife to DRC President Joseph Kabila and alleged factional fights in provincial party structures.

Report by Moses Matenga&picture compilation by Tinotenda Samukange

ZiFM CEO Supa Mandiwanzira
ZiFM CEO Supa Mandiwanzira

ND: You are a politician, businessman and journalist all rolled into one, how are you managing all that?

SM: I think that a lot of people are many things in what they are or in what they do. If you consider that a man has to play the father role, breadwinner role, CEO at the office and lead at the church. Men have been created to be able to multi-task and I think I have the privilege to multi-task and I do that pretty well.

I don’t think it’s a difficult role to be able to multi-task, but what is critical is to be able to distinguish each role from the other and l think I do that very well.

ND: By making known your political inclinations, don’t you think you have alienated your station from listeners and advertisers considering that Zimbabwe has many political parties?

SM: I have not heard any rule in Zimbabwe or any law that denies anyone in politics an opportunity to do business. You must consider my ownership of a radio station just as the same perhaps as the ownership of a supermarket. If you own a supermarket and decide to be a political player do you alienate your customers?

Do people make a decision to shop in a shop because it is owned by someone from political party X or political party Y, I don’t think so? I think Zimbabweans are mature enough to be able to distinguish between Supa Mandiwanzira as an individual and ZiFM Stereo as a radio station because these are separate legal entities that can be sued independent of each other, so I think there is no confusion whatsoever that I own a radio station and I have decided to be in politics. What I am very clear about is the fact that my political views must not dominate the radio station, and from its inception on August 15, 2012 up to now, my radio station has not been influenced by my own political affiliation. In fact, it has stood on the principles of good ethical and balanced journalism, the principles that define what journalism is all about. So I am clear about the two separate entities.

ND: And reports that your station is being funded by Zanu PF and that you got the licence because of your political inclination, what’s your take on that?

SM: You are the ones in your newspaper who have written numerous stories that Zanu PF is broke and I am not suggesting that it is actually broke. If you write and are convinced that Zanu PF is broke why would you expect it to be funding a radio station when it is broke as an institution? To be very direct in my response, Zanu PF doesn’t fund private business. Zanu PF has no time and resources to fund private businesses. This project is funded by loans from banks, by stakeholders including advertisers, listeners and shareholders and operates on business principles.

ND: What inspired you to get into politics having been successful as a journalist and businessperson?

SM: I never intended to get into politics, because I never thought it was my path, but I come from Nyanga and grew up there and I am considered as one of its leading lights in terms of people who came out and have done something remarkable and recognisable nationally and sometimes internationally. I was invited by the community leaders there who said “we think you can come in and use the influence you managed to garner to uplift the community”. I felt that was a very important call that I had to respond to positively. I am glad I responded because I can see the hope and expectations that have risen and I am very confident that I will meet the expectations to a very great extent.

ND: Why did you choose Zanu PF in responding to the call?

SM: I have always believed in Zanu PF and I have never believed in any other political party. I have great admiration for Zanu PF leaders who, when they did not have any penny, decided to wage a struggle to win back our independence and decided to take on a regime armed to the teeth and dependent on support of the West.

I admire that kind of vision and in fact they waged a struggle and gave us the independence we enjoy today. I admire that legacy and I wanted to be part of the community or generation that sustains that legacy and that’s why I decided that I must stand for Zanu PF because I believe in it. I believe in its ideology to be a people’s institution to make sure people benefit from their resources.

I have no doubt that you as Moses Matenga if you go to South Africa and relate to all races you can see how Zimbabweans are confident, believe in themselves, and don’t allow anybody to stand in their way and that’s what I am proud of, that’s why I am Zanu PF.

ND: Do you think you have the capacity to retain the seat that is currently in the hands of the MDC-T considering that Zanu PF lost dismally in Manicaland in the last election in 2008?

SM: The capacity comes from the people who invited me. I was invited by the community, I did not just go there and say I want to be your MP so if I was invited by the community it’s absolutely guaranteed that the people will give me that support for me to be in Parliament and to deliver their expectations.

I have absolutely no doubt that Zanu PF is going to win and that the MP for Nyanga post 31 July will be none-other than Supa Collins Mandiwanzira and the President of the country will be President Mugabe and that Nyanga is going to deliver the most significant vote for the President and a massive vote for the local MP and massive vote for the councillors.

ND: You sound so confident of victory, where are you drawing that confidence from knowing for a fact that your party lost in 2008, first losing virtually all seats in Manicaland and your Presidential candidate losing to Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of voting?

SM: The last election was won by President Robert Mugabe and that’s why he is President today. It’s a lie that anyone else won because if anyone won, he would be President.

President Mugabe won the run-off with a convincing margin. In the first election in March 2008, there was no winner; there was just a leader in the race. You can’t get a prize for number one when you are still in the race. President Mugabe was behind in the relay, he then overtook and at the finishing line he was number one, that’s why he is President today.

ND: There are factional fights in Manicaland, what exactly is going on and do you see the party rising from the dust in time to win the elections?

SM: I absolutely don’t know of factional fighting in Manicaland. There are only differences and those differences are healthy because that reflects that there is democracy in the party. There are no differences of a factional nature in Manicaland. We are aware of the hierarchy in Manicaland and we know who is the most senior leader, who is next, and we know which people are in which positions within the party.

You must know that Zanu PF is a disciplined party and has survived many years since its formation in the 60s. You cannot find factionalism in that kind of organisation, and there is healthy democracy.

ND: And who is the most senior in the province?

SM: I think that you need to go and take the Zanu PF constitution as journalists for you to know some of these things. The most senior politician in Manicaland is Cde Didymus Mutasa.

ND: So if the constitution is clear that Mutasa is the most senior politician, why are there others not showing respect and fighting him?

SM: I am not aware of that.

ND: A lot has been said and written about Supa Mandiwanzira, but little has been written about you, do you have a family?

SM: I think my family is not in the public fray, I don’t like them to be in the public fray. They would prefer not to be in the public domain because it is very important to separate family and business and politics so I should protect my family and part of that is to make sure they are not in the limelight and thankfully my wife doesn’t like to be in the limelight, my kids don’t like to be in the limelight. They want to be in the limelight for their own abilities and I work hard to make sure they achieve that.

I am definitely married to one wife since 1998 and I have three kids; two girls and one boy and I never lost a wife to (DRC President Joseph) Kabila.

DRC President Joseph Kabila
DRC President Joseph Kabila
ND: So where did the issue of you having lost a wife to Kabila come from?

SM: The same quarters that suggest my station is funded by Zanu PF and I think these kinds of stories come from the nature of our society that at some point as a country we had become intolerant of each other to the extent that we could create stories just to tarnish or bring down people for no apparent reason. It’s a result of the political polarisation that existed and to some extent still exists today, but I think post this election, there will be tolerance and people would have found each other again.

ND: There are reports that Zanu PF wants to use the army and violence to rig elections and reports in your constituency and other nearby areas are that members of the army are always seen there raising fears of intimidation, what’s your response to that?

SM: We know that it is very clear that opposition parties are going to lose the forthcoming elections to Zanu PF so in order to prepare their own epitaphs, they have started making all these kind of baseless allegations which have no fact, no evidence to try and have a soft landing when the results of the July 31 elections are announced.

I would challenge you to show me anyone who has been raped, killed and kidnapped by Zanu PF. I would challenge you to show me a soldier that you have seen trying to rig an election, to show me the Zanu PF hand or influence in Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) whose leadership was chosen by all parties in the inclusive government. I think Zimbabweans must begin to dismiss that as nonsense and focus on the main business at hand which is to identify a political party that is going to deliver on their expectations.

ND. If you don’t make it in the forthcoming polls, will you continue with your projects that you started 10 years ago?

SM: Zanu PF is not a loser; Supa Mandiwanzira is not a loser.

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49 Comments

  1. in as much as u try to be balanced by giving views of both zanu-pf and mdc-t candidates, i think yr intervies will best serve the voters if they are structured in the form of a debate. Infact lets have all the candidates per constituency airing their views.

    1. Supa Mandiwanzira can defend his archaic party all he likes but for him to insult some of us who have suffered violence in the hands of zanu no just in 2008 but ever since zanu took over power in 1980, for him to insult Gukurahundi victims by claiming he does not know anyone killed,kidnapped or raped by his party is very callous of him and will not win him support.

      Supa should know zanu has done wrongs in the past and for it to move on and gain a semblance of respect from the majority of ordinary Zimbabweans it needs key among other things to renew it’s leadership and dump it’s now old leadership that is now quite useless and past it’s sell by date by far. Supa would fit into this category of leadership but for him to start by denying the evil perpetrated by his party in the past is a very poor start for one who aspires to be a national leader, who does not know that there is factionalism in zanu so for this guy to simply rubbish the existence of such factionalism is to play on the intelligence of Zimbabweans who now know beyond this very cheap propaganda from a novice politician.Mr Journalist you are also guilty of letting this zanoid go cheaply how does someone claim that zanu has not killed anyone and you do not challenge that statement in-fact if it was me the interview would have ended at that point he is taking you for a fool.
      Supa be warned Zimbabweans would not be taken for granted

  2. Supa Mandiwanzira is a likeable guy. His answers clearly demonstrate that he is a level headed and well planned man.

    With regard to Kabila etc. rumours – it just shows you how Zimbabweans have sunk soo low to become gossipers … makuhwa ekunyepa and conspiracy theories manyanya! Just look at how many ppl follow the rubbish Baba Jukwa writes. Why are we wasting soo much energy on useless things like that, stifling our creativity and work ethics – no politician will come and plough your field for you unotozvishandira – zvekugara nekumirira maelections nekutevera tunyaya twemakuhwa pa facebook will get us no where!?

  3. Too true, let’s have facts to back up whatever we claim, we are too decent a people and too educated to spread gossip and pub talk, sometimes printing rubbish in our newspapers without fact checking. It’s great to see a brother doing well, let’s not be haters. If he has done wrong let us expose it with facts and the law will take its course..

  4. @tsano makarasika!!!!

  5. Son of the soil

    AnaSupa. Hezvo uko bwaaaaa!!!! Haulume tisu Nyanga yacho. We will give mo time to run yo propaganda station.

  6. I’m from Nyanga Supa.u are a gud guy but Zanu warasika.This party has expired.We wil go fo MdcT

  7. In as much as I like Supa and adore ZIFM for its balancedness and divesity!!I think Supa needs to accept that his party is rotten and achaic!!!E real issue is that ZPF will not win in e next presidential election not because of factionalism bt because we are tired of RG and his fellow goons!!!Supa might win in e parliamentary election bt he will be part of e opposition in parliament that will be sustaining constructive debate in e house!!!I might even suggest that he(supa)be invited to e post of Minister of Publicity,Media and Information coz I thnk as a journo he is brilliant!!!

  8. Supa u are a wonderful guy.Panoti Zanu apo.Last time we voted fo Undenge but allas,Zanu is Zanu.We don’t need it here

  9. I like Zifm easpecially head on.I don’t see Supa win Nyanga seat.THE last time we voted fo Zanupf,they looted from poor villagers.No Zanu here

  10. supa dzikama u r ashame. zimbabwe never fought a war w the west. check ur facts well mr polician/journo. zpf wl not win any credible election and we know tz dirty tricks. mugabe was defeated n march 2008 before rigging parunoff. why did mugabe begged morgan afta runoff?

  11. BoBoJaNi SpAnNeR

    Supa ndibabamunini waR.G Mugabe so he has a lot to lose if Zanu is kicked out.He has a Radio station given free to him by Zanu n 4 farms n machinery all for free.We can not promote that can we?Let’s vote him OUT!

  12. zanupf only venture into politics not to serve the part and people but enrich themselves.very corruptive these idiots.Supa kukura nzeve hakusi kukura mupolitics.go back to dead BC and read news again.kana kuita umwe mwana netsikombi yako.silly

  13. Y are loser coz y ar were y ar coz wakaroorwa nehama yaBob.

  14. zanu pf for life! Icho!

  15. Supa will snatch the nyanga south seat from chimbetete and mwonzora will lose to cde nyanhongo the same way he lost to kadzima in 05. scenarios/circumstances of 08 and 2013 are so much different so there will be no protest vote against zpf which mdc rid on in 08

  16. Supa Mandiwanzira is brilliant, so is Zanu PF. I like Supa for not shying to believe in his party because the revolutionary party always fought for and stood for true indigenous Zimbabweans. Victory is certainly your Sup, Mugabe and Zanu PF

  17. Supa we did not fight the west we fought Ian Smith. We did not fight Britain we fought Ian Smith who had distanced himself from the colonialists. Our history is not correct. ian Smith was not British sponsored that is why they applied sanction but Smith was very clever and he knew exactly how to counter the sanctions. Imagine the war was heavy but the country never went as hungry as is now. His industry grew during the sanctions period and he became a source of some goods for our smae African brothers because he knew what was wanted by the outside world. Now we have 120 people who were just stopped to go shopping in London and other European Cities we cry sanctions, the sanctions on Zimbabwe are child’s play compared to what Smith faced. So we fought Ian Smith not Britain not America else if we fought those we would bnot be around my friend supa be really but ku Nyanga uko wabaya.

    1. go back to your history and learn how the west (britain, usa) aided smith

    2. Ian Smith was a British and so are all whites of British origin resident in Zimbabwe. Your memory is very poor you forget the British plan to evacuate its citizens in 2009.

    3. Supa did not say we fought Britain. Rather, he said we “decided to take on a regime armed to the teeth and dependent on support of the West.” Any student of history will tell you that the Smith regime was propped up by Western powers. I respect Supa for standing for what he believes in.

  18. Supa anogara muno here aivepi Mugabe achidyiwa namorgiza 2008.Don’t prat kak my bruu

  19. Is Supa serious when he he says I challenge you to show me someone who has been raped or kidnapped by ZPF?Is the news he listens to only from his station? Supa, getting raped or kidnapped is no small matter. Dont add salt to the open wounds of victims of these atrocities. It is inhuman statements like these that will make you a loser very soon.

  20. Tendai Chaminuka

    Why is it if someone becomes successful in one field, he or she thinks politics is the final solution.Vamwe vakaita maengineer epombi dzemvura nokutotanga party vamwe hazvitaurwi.Someone spends 362 days ari muHarare ozoenda kumusha paChristmas and claims kuti community is backing him.ZANU (PF) ngaiite serious

  21. You are a loser Supa

  22. People need to learn to disagree and be tolerant of each other. Supa is entitled to any political affiliation of his choice. If he had joined the MDC-T would some of you still be saying his radio station is a propaganda station? Lets not be myopic in our views and try and be open minded. Zimbabwe has a lot of intelligent people but we lag behind other nations because we are politically intolerant of each other.

  23. Supa would have my vote, we need a new breed of politicians in Zimbabwe. Its a pity I, not from Nyanga.

  24. super waudze .saka munofunga kuti zanupf ingaruze? kunyepa chaiko

  25. what a super dupe!

  26. believe me or not zanu yaenda ,supa hauhwine kumanicaland as long as vakamirira bato rembavha

  27. Mr Supa,supa,supa izvizvi zvamaakuti hee show me vanhu vakarapwa,vakakidnapwa…….nezanu pf…..aahhh,i think ndokurashika kwekupedzesera kungaitike ku munhu mukuru wakaita sewe. Its almost criminal to deny such glaring injustices coz the nxt thing u gonna start denying gukurahundi,then the holocaust and evrything in btwn all this in order to sound politically correct and protect one’s business? Something is sounding criminal here.

  28. I also come from Nyanga South area. I am presently registered to vote in one the the wards in Harare. Because of what Supa is saying about his party zanu, i am poised to shift my constituency to my home area in order to add to the numbers which are going to vote against Supa and his failed and rotten party. Even a baboon from the Nyangani mountains would be more preferable to zanu.

  29. Apa you are lost. Do you know this will affect your reputation in the business world. Wakashaya zvokita here sUPA during this election time. You will never win. May be kuUZUMBA MARAMBAPFUNGWA. YES.

  30. The fat bull is being fattened so that at harvest time rinorigwa rough.

  31. Mfana Supa wepaNyamakanga paseri pegomo pakaringo apo tidomutaurira ifefe ana samanyika kuti kana uruda zvepolitics ziva bhiza rekufamba ndiro otherwise ungobata patsi nekuti Nyanga ido chinja kare kare, iye zvimachira munzeve ndo,,,ungosiririsa mangwana tumari udoba ku mangoda ne Mbada Diamonds (AAG) twapera paku campagner shi radio shako shingoteererwa nawanamusawara ife tingo SW Radio Africa ne Studio 7 ,,ndatenda ndishambonomwa mhamba pamutimutema ndichapfuura ndiisweresa mbuya Mandiwanzira ndiiti mbuya mupwere udorasika uyu.

  32. Joseph Chinotimba

    Ana Supa, tsve zvekuradio, nanga ananga nepolitics

  33. Benjamin Chitate

    Supa knows the truth, but is just in denial. In any case, any candidate will say they will win, but it will be a different story on election day.

  34. Tsano is forgetting kuti iyevo anoinda on fb and is a follower yaBajukwa,dai asingaendepo achivaziva,enda unorima Tsano touya tichitenga kwauri nyika yobudirira,we cant all b farmers Tsano

  35. Be4 anyone was even ready in Zanny pf their leader knowing full well of their illpreparedness goes and announces an election date so who does he want to loose? Factional fights in Manicaland are hotter there than anywhere else the Madiro issue and Esau’s surprise withdrawl it seems super’s head is buried in the sand or is he already another brainwashed zanoid either way he’s groping in the dark and straight away he’s heading for the political dustbin sorry super ardios amigo.

  36. Tsemura Chokwadi

    Nyanga haalume uyu! He is a dreamer let’s move on. Shame to Supa (SS)

  37. big up Supa!!!!!!!!

  38. Supa ungozviziwa wani kuti nyanga ndiyo idotanga kuchinja. Kubva 2000 udombozwa kwaita MP wezanu kwasuno Nyanga. Mupwere unaita uinangira next time. Wadhliwa mu race isati yatangaba bambo. Ini neward yedu yetse hatikuvhoteriba.

  39. WILLARD MUBVUMBI

    Baba Supa, leave politics and concentrate on running your businesses. Politics is not good and safe. LA POLITICA ES UNA JUEGO SUCIO.

  40. Musha Mukurusa

    Unoona Supa mwana wamai. Kana watotanga kunyepa iwe uchangopinda mupolitics macho unofunga kuti benzi richakuvhotera risina kuspoiler ballot paper ndiani? Hauzviziwiba kuti Mugabe akaita ega runoff? Hauzviziwiba iwewe kuti Bhezero Nyabadza hazviwonaniba naChinamasa? Uda kunditaurira kuti hauziwiba kuti Oppah Muchinguri naMutasa hazvihyidzaniba? Madiro ungohyidzanepi naDidymus? Mai Mabika chaiye anopfira akasangana naMutasa. Ehunde sapota hakozve Zanu yako asi kuno hatina kumbokudaidzaba uchahyiwa…

  41. You are a serial liar. Kabila took your wife and in return paid lobola. U used capital from lobola for ZiFM. Proof me wrong.

  42. @wemaromo,,,,,how old are you? Smith managed to b”beat sanctions” by getting underhand support from the aperthied regime. Why did the americans and the british offer to pay for land, to protect their kith and kin. Hence the constitution protected them for the initial 10yrs of our indipendence. Taura zvauno ziva

  43. Supa hezvo naDougie!!! Namai vai vangu Lai ndinopika?

  44. You are a cheat Supa.

  45. Pondaihenyumwanawevhu

    a vote for supa is super. so vote Supa to be super

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