FORMER President Robert Mugabe’s niece, Zalerah Makari, revealed she was pushed out of Zanu PF during the 2018 general elections amid fears she could have been anti – Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Makari was disqualified from the Zanu PF internal party elections for the Epworth constituency and went on to stand as an independent candidate, before losing the polls to the MDC Alliance’s Ethrage Kureva.
Speaking in an interview on the Shift, Makari said the transition from the later former President, to President Emmerson Mnangagwa affected her on a personal and political level.
“First of all let me be clear, my relationship with the former (President) impacted me on a personal and political level because he was a political par excellence, I looked up to him also going into politics,” Makari said.
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This relationship was to cost her dearly in her attempt to retain the Epworth seat in 2018 and was blocked by Zanu PF on the back of the links.
“I had to work harder than everyone and I knew that, that’s what people said (That I was Mugabe’s relative) … then 2018 came I wasn’t able to defend my seat because of the transition that was happening for the second republic and some people thought, you know let’s not give her that opportunity,” Makari said.
Mnangagwa was later to overturn her ban last minute and allowed Makari an opportunity to represent Zanu PF in the Epworth by-elections after Douglas Mwonzora had recalled Kureva.
“I remember I got in so late in the game (party primary elections) that my name was not on the ballot paper, but people were actually writing my name, it speaks to the work that we do,” she said.
The legislator said during the time of the transition although she remained Zanu PF inside, she was determined to retain the Epworth Constituency seat.
“I never left Zanu PF, I stood as an independent, for me it was a child throwing her toys out of the cardboard, I was just frustrated that at least they should have given me an opportunity to defend my seat and finish the work I had done so I never left Zanu Pf, and when the opportunity came for a by-election I just submitted my paperwork,” Makari said.
Zanu PF has never been kind to those who defy party directives and stand as independent candidates, but it gave Makari a free pass.
Makari who won the by-elections bouncing back into parliament on a Zanu PF ticket said she never wanted her relationship with the late Mugabe to be her ticket into politics.
“People would obviously have their opinions that am telling you, obviously very few people knew unless those people who knew me personally. I didn’t walk around flaunting it, am sure you are also hearing it for the first time,” she said.
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