FREEZIM Congress presidential candidate Joseph Makamba Busha has said failure by Zanu PF to deliver a better Zimbabwe is what pushed him into politics. He lamented lack of electoral reforms and promised to give equal opportunities to all Zimbabweans and to root out corruption once he wins the upcoming election.
By OBEY MANAYITI
NewsDay reporter, Obey Manayiti (ND), caught up with Busha (JMB) who shared his vision and political aspirations on a new Zimbabwe born out of the forthcoming general elections. Below are the excerpts of the interview:
ND: When was your party formed and can you take us through the motivation behind formation of FREEZIM Congress.
JMB: In 1986, I realised that Zanu PF led by President Robert Mugabe was going to betray the liberation struggle, was going to betray the people of Zimbabwe and that’s true the fact that we were not going to fulfil the promises of the liberation struggle and the principles by which war was won. I decided to form a party, I did not hold a senior position in Zanu PF, but I was a card-carrying member. I left and then started crafting the vision for Zimbabwe and what I wanted to do for Zimbabwe. In 1999, then I formally introduced FREEZIM congress to people around me and started mobilising. In 2013, we fielded 10 candidates for parliamentary seats, in 2015 we had by-elections in Mwenezi, Chiundura.
ND: There are other parties, Zanu PF and MDC-T who have been there for some time. What is it that they failed to achieve which you want to do differently?
JMB: They have failed to deliver a better Zimbabwe, it is quite clear what they have failed. They have failed to deliver a better Zimbabwe from the Smith regime.
ND: The MDC might say they have never been exclusively running the country on their own, why do you think they have failed?
JMB: They exclusively managed Bulawayo, they exclusively managed Harare and the fact that at some stage they had about 90 MPs, it is significant power from the people they didn’t use. Once if you are in government, you are part of the government and if you don’t believe in it you resign. If you are a board member of a company, you cannot say I am not the CEO, you make decisions and if the decisions of how the company is being run are not according to the principles you resign and it is a lie that they were not in government. They are enjoying benefits, they have cars, they have allowances from government and they have represented government. For your own information, Tendai Biti was in government for Zimbabwe.
ND: What is going to distinguish your party from the rest?
JMB: We stand for peace, prosperity, human rights and equality, that is the difference. I am a messenger of peace and I am known for that. What are other people known for? The difference is very clear.
ND: What can you say about the electoral environment at the moment? Can it produce a free, fair and credible election?
JMB: There are no reforms and I am not happy, but unfortunately you can cry about it and nothing will happen. I have to come and tell people, convince them that this is the future we require. The future we have with this government is destruction so there is no future at all. They have been destroying slowly and slowly to where we are now so I have to stand for the people and do the best that I can.
ND: President Mnangagwa has reiterated that Zimbabwe is open for business and that has received a fair amount of applause, what can you say about that?
JMB: There is nothing open for business. Zimbabwe has always been open for foreign business and closes the local people’s business. Even the vendors are closing and they are harassing Zimbabwe owned businesses. They have been going to the Chinese and claim Zimbabwe is open for business but we don’t understand which business is that. This is just rhetoric.
ND: I understand at one point you said in your government, no minister will get a vehicle from your administration. Can you explain how this is going to work?
JMB: That is executive luxury, ministers get a salary and from that salary you must buy your own car, you must service your own car. We will give people their salary then they look after themselves. They abuse vehicles for personal use, they take their children to school and take their wives to hair salons and shopping. That is wasting money. They money is not actually on the purchase of the car, but on the maintenance of the car. That is the first step to make sure that we all have equal opportunities and to remove corruption.
ND: Do you think that is workable considering that this is the norm in almost all the countries?
JMB: It might be the norm but it doesn’t mean that this is right. The minister of Finance in Ghana drives his own Camry and I can give you that as an example.
ND: I understand you have been accusing other presidential candidates, including MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa, of copying your initiatives.
JMB: Him trying to copy the marathon, it is not going to happen. Our marathon happens in all countries and it is taking place in all 54 countries. This was not started for political expediency. You must understand that Chamisa is a student and he is a perpetual student who realises that he has nothing. He has been trying to copy Tendai Biti, (Douglas) Mwonzora like other lawyers in MDC-T and that is why he went to study law. He is violent naturally if you see how he treated Thokozani Khupe and he has no ideas, ideology and he has been just be there as a copycat. There are descent people like Elias Mudzuri and I don’t even understand why he is in MDC-T today.