KUDAKWASHE Chinamano is running as an independent candidate for Highfield East constituency after he failed to win the Zanu PF primary election which he says was rigged.
NewsDay Weekender reporter Tinashe Kairiza (NW) spoke to Chinamano (KC) about the various community projects he is rolling out in Highfield.
NW: At some point, you were an active member of Zanu PF, why did you decide to run as an independent candidate?
KC: My decision to stand as an independent candidate is based on the fact that our structures have been corrupted to the extent that any complaints about maladministration are regarded as selling out. Our commissariat department is not even bothering to refer to records to verify the truth or falsity of the matters brought to their attention. Promotion in politics should be by merit. If the people’s voice is muted by removal from cell registers of the majority so that the minority seems popular, then I believe that the process of internal primaries is nonsensical. How does one allow a candidate to be elected by 300 people or less going into a general election in a constituency with more than 20 000 registered voters? The same people that were chanting vana kuna amai during the (former President Robert) Mugabe regime are the same people who are now claiming to be Lacoste. They are the same people who are disenfranchising the electorate of their choice of leaders at all levels from cell to central committee. In summary, the corruption has made it impossible for one to advance within party structures through legitimate means.
NW: Let us talk about the projects you initiated in Highfield, do you think they are far-reaching in terms of transforming the livelihoods of citizens?
KC: I decided to run as an independent candidate to expose the truth that some of our leaders choose to ignore. The perpetrators of this corrupt activity are unable to manipulate the Zec process, so the numbers shall speak and maybe then the relevant people will pay attention. I believe in the community. The community believes in what I am doing for them with them. I am confident that victory is certain.
NW: Can you briefly describe the projects you are running in Highfield?
KC: The projects we have initiated in Highfield are very relevant to the everyday lives of the Highfield resident. The roads are in a bad state. Water cuts and shortages continue to affect the quality of life and overall productive capacity of the ordinary person. Women wash, cook and clean with the same water. This has caused water-borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera. So, yes, I believe they (projects) are far-reaching, especially in comparison to buying alcohol and giving out T-shirts which is what some parties are doing. These projects in some way have created some form of employment to community members.
NW: Are residents supporting the projects you are running?
KC: The residents by and large have been very supportive and this is proven by the large numbers that have participated without duress and their feedback has been encouraging as they communicate on a daily basis with suggestions and words of encouragement. There are, of course, elements within the same community that will be used to frustrate our efforts. It is those people who we have to work hard to educate and when we achieve this we will have achieved our goal which is to have a united constituency. The tools and water we have used for our roadworks were provided by the community.
NW: Do you think you have done sufficient work to mobilise voters ahead of the forthcoming election?
KC: We have not and I do not intend to stop doing community development work even after the elections.
NW: Suppose you win the Highfield parliamentary seat, how best do you think you can represent the constituency?
KC: I will work towards bringing assistance to the people of Highfield in the form of goodwill and initiate empowerment programmes. I would move motions to change legislation that is not in favour of my constituents. I would seek help at regional and international levels. I would also engage corporates to invest back into the community while applying pressure to council so that there is service delivery. My other agenda would be to promote youth advance, considering that this demographic age group constitute the majority of our population. If we were to hold a poll-based solely on that and youth voted exclusively for one of their own, then we would follow the example of France which now has a President who is less than 40 years.
NW: You are running as an independent candidate, which presidential candidate have you endorsed?
KC: Emmerson Mnangagwa has my vote. Why not?