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'Zanu-PF will bridge gap between Epworth, Harare'

by Staff reporter
29 Mar 2022 at 06:31hrs | Views
Zanu-PF snatched two parliamentary seats, Epworth and Mutasa South, from the opposition in the by-elections held on Saturday last week and also got a foothold in urban local authorities. Our Senior Reporter Joseph Madzimure (JM) caught up with the winning Zanu-PF candidate for Epworth constituency Zalera Makari (ZM) who grabbed the seat from Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate Mr Earthrage Kureva. Makari garnered 10 248 votes, while Mr Kureva got 8 283 votes.

JM: As the newly-elected MP for Epworth, how do you feel representing women in the political arena?

ZM: I am naturally elated by the victory, though there is a lot of hard work. Firstly, I want to thank His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, ED Mnangagwa. He showed faith in me. I have always been Zanu-PF from birth. He came and said, "Look, this is democracy, let the young lady go in". So, I would really want to thank him on behalf of my constituency and at my personal level.

He believed in the work that I do. We promised His Excellency that we will bring the seat back to the ruling party. I am elated. I want to thank the Zanu-PF Politburo, Central Committee and provincial members who stood by me. The support which I got was overwhelming. The people of Epworth are amazing.

They wanted change. MDC, now CCC, candidate came in, but they didn't do much for the constituency. I was there for some time; hence people know Zanu-PF performs better.

JM: What are the immediate challenges facing your constituency. How do you hope to address them?

ZM: There are a lot of challenges in Epworth. Economically our country is affected by sanctions, hence there is a lot of work that needs to be done. People need assistance. We need to change the story for the betterment of the people, especially in my constituency, which is peri-urban, though located in Harare province.

There is need to ensure we bridge the gap between Epworth and Harare. We need to industrialise Epworth. We need to construct state-of-the-art roads which connect Epworth with other areas.

We need to create employment for our people. There is a lot of talent in terms of sporting activities, hence there is need to build stadiums to nurture talent.

Town status comes with opportunities for the electorate. We want industries, shopping centres, banks to open in Epworth to avoid congestion in Harare.

Epworth is open for business now. We have to modernise our area. Though there are a lot of challenges in Epworth, we need to unite and remain strong as Zanu-PF. Epworth is a Zanu-PF stronghold.

JM: Harmonised elections will be held next year. What will you do to ensure you retain your seat, considering the limited time?

ZM: The major issue is to unite as the ruling party. As a party we also need to fulfil our promises to the electorate so that we win resoundingly in the 2023 harmonised elections.

President Mnangagwa is working tirelessly towards road rehabilitation across the country, construction of dams, industries are opening, investors are coming, hence it creates employment opportunities.

MDC faction CCC has failed to deliver to the people and they do not have sound policies, while Zanu-PF is making headway by giving title deeds to some people in unplanned settlements and old locations.

For your own information, I spent most of my time in Epworth. The people there know me.

JM: As a woman, who won an election during Women's Month, what message does this send to young women aspiring to enter into politics?

ZM: It's Women's Month, so we are excited. We are saying ‘women we want to rise'. As women we can do it. There are a lot of opportunities opened by the Second Republic. We want to rise in business, we want to rise in politics, in churches, in every aspect.

I am going to talk about politics, it's my passion. I see why women, young women, stay back, it's issues of safety, issues of resources and issues of stigma.

There is stigma attached to women and politics. If we are aggressive, we rise and do away with statements like ‘one needs a man to prosper in the political career.' The misconception of carpet interviews is outdated. In our own right, we are educated.

So, I am saying to the women, the young women especially, if it is your passion, you go for it. You can start now, I started while I was in university. You must have the spirit to serve. You must know what politics is all about.

I think that's one of the major things. People think when you are going into politics you are rich, politics does not have money, but actually takes money. So, you should have the passion for it and keep working. Do not take no for an answer.

Knock and keep knocking. For some people you need to knock, others you need to kick until the door is open. If you believe in your calling just go for it, and when they say there is a glass ceiling you say "no I want to shatter it".

We want to go past that to the seventh heaven, but we are citizens of this world. We are citizens of this country, why shouldn't women take part in political decisions? As women we should compete in any environment, so we should go for it.

JM: What is your message to Epworth residents?

ZM: I want to assure them that Zanu-PF will change their lives for the better. Soon, Epworth will be an envy of many.

President Mnangagwa's urban renewal policy will transform their lives.

Source - The Herald