UNDETERRED by the ongoing squabbles around credibility of the voters’ roll which was released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Hatfield constituency independent candidate Tendai Dephine Ndoro (TN) remains resolute in wanting to represent the area she grew up in.
A businesswoman and development expert, Ndoro believes the experience she has can help address the various developmental problems that Hatfield constituency and, in extension, Zimbabwe is facing. NewsDay Weekender’s Tinotenda Munyukwi (TM) caught up with Ndoro and the following are experts from that interview:
NDW: Why have you decided to enter politics now?
TN: I am a practitioner as a public administrator and, of cause, there is always politics in everything. My family moved to Hatfield in 1979. When I went to do my biometric voter registration (BVR) at Hatfield Girls High School, I couldn’t believe how the school had deteriorated. Once your eyes are open, sometimes you can’t remain oblivious. I am sitting there thinking to myself that somebody should do something and why not me, because I have been doing developmental projects already and that’s what encouraged me, it was a last-minute decision and I decided to run.
NDW: What makes you different from previous MPs in Hatfield?
TN: I have the knowhow. First of all you need to have the knowhow, this is my life’s work. I think I have learnt working in development that when something is not done, it could be because people don’t know how to do it or they don’t have the will to do it. People are not taking the responsibility that I am going to do it and I am going to play my part is what is lacking.
NDW: Why did you decide to stand as an independent candidate instead of joining a political party?
TN: I have never been affiliated to any political party, I have always been an independent person in the work that I do. I am very confident of winning. Parties are institutions that are designed to reward the hierarchy system. Parties are institutions of patronage and as an independent I bring diversity to the political dialogue and I have better chances of working with anyone who has ideas to serve the people.
NDW: Do you think you can identify with the problems facing the country after living in the Diaspora for many years?
TN: I am a consultant, I do development work and I am a researcher. I have worked in development and have had dinner table conversation with people here. I know what the issues were, I just didn’t know what is at the bottom of those issues. People’s efforts are not being seen because of corruption and there is no accountability and transparency.
NDW: Do you think the political playfield is level?
TN: God’s hand is in it, in my campaign. On BVR, we must applaud ourselves when we move in the right direction. I got my voters’ roll and it is not what I expected. We got the CD, and for me and my team, it took us some time to figure out how it was working. It could have been given better. Those people that are raising problems, at the core of it is the issue of distrust.
NDW: Some independent candidates have come up with a coalition, the People’s Own Voice (POVO), have you considered being part of it?
TN: There is nothing wrong with a collaboration and strategic partnership. Even now, I can work with anyone who can help my constituency.
NDW: Should you lose the elections, will you continue working with the people of Hatfield?
TN: People have the right to vote and if they don’t choose me, it is their decision. I am still going to help and work with institutions to help Hatfield constituency. I do not give promises, I give proposals to the people. We are the constituency which visitors first see on their way from the airport, meaning we are Zimbabwe’s first impression and therefore development is needed in Hatfield.