The battle for the heart of Kwekwe Central constituency has been drawn with Zanu PF’s Kandros Mugabe, taking on MDC Alliance’s Blessing Chebundo, seating MP Masango Matambanadzo (NPF) and Independent candidate Josinia Maupa.
NewsDay reporter Blessed Mhlanga (ND) caught up with Mugabe (KM), who accused Matambanadzo of corruption and promised to bring back clean politics in the Midlands’ gold-mining city.
He won the ticket under a cloud of accusations of electoral manipulation during the primary elections.
ND: You are representing Zanu PF in Kwekwe Central, can you briefly describe what motivated you to aspire to be a Member of Parliament?
KM: I didn’t choose to represent myself, people begged me starting from district one.
They asked me last year saying we have had a problem with Blackman (Matambanadzo), they said he was being given things by the former First Lady [Grace Mugabe] and abused them.
For instance, when he got 30 tonnes or 100 tonnes of maize or rice, he was taking five bags for himself and when distributing to the party supporters, he would give them using a cup unaware that the people knew what would have been donated to the constituency through confirmations and consultations at GMB.
When people discovered what he was doing, they stopped attending party meetings; that was destroying the party.
ND: You are raising the issue of corruption and people are complaining that it has become rampant, particularly in Zanu PF, what is your view?
KM: It’s not Zanu PF, it’s just people’s mentality.
Zanu PF is the one that is saying no to corruption, but the mentality of the people when elected into office, they think the electorate are their puppets.
When people get a chance to represent the people, they become pompous and their actions are attributed to the ruling party.
But it is not the party that is wrong, it is the people’s mentality that is disgracing the party.
Blackman did the party wrong, so the reason why I was invited by the people is that they saw that Blackman was very corrupt.
ND: What new things do you want to bring to the people of Kwekwe?
KM: Everyone has the right to a good life, better life, where people can eat sadza and meat, tea with milk and their children going to school.
I would like to share my personal resources with the community that would have voted for me, that’s why you see me doing projects.
Before the primaries on April 25, I had a banquet and gave every district $4 000 so that they could buy their own chickens and stockfeed.
After that I went to the elderly and donated $2 000 so that they improve their vending businesses.
ND: Do you then go back and assess how people are utilising the resources that you gave them or this is just a campaign gimmick?
KM: I do follow-ups with the help of Chris, who is an aspiring councillor, he is the one whom I send to check on the progress.
I’m also sending all councillors for Kwekwe Central because during the primary elections, they used my name, this is how they managed to win the hearts of people.
So this also made them gain popularity, I want to revive industries in Kwekwe.
ND: You are referring to the primary elections and how you helped people, but some accuse you of being violent.
The current Kwekwe deputy mayor John Mapurazi wrote a letter accusing you of using violence during the primary elections.
KM: Those that were not supporting me colluded secretariat with our Zanu PF office and created commotion, others were arrested as they were beating up people not to vote and using machetes.
They are leaders of the party or the office who were trying to show that they disliked me.
But people knew the person they had walked the journey with, they themselves chose me to lead them.
ND: Kwekwe has been at the heart of violence with machete gangs, so as a leader how do you plan to deal with the wounds of this violence, especially for those beaten up to elect you?
KM: Those that were beaten were not hurt, to them it was just sacrifice in the process of choosing the person they liked most.
I became afraid that people were being beaten and thought of withdrawing, but they came to urge me not to withdraw.
ND: Looking at the new dispensation, what direction do you think the country is taking?
KM: New dispensation refers to a new beginning, so far it has had the eyes of many as we are going forward and looking at how the President worked during the 100 -day programme.
We saw that our President is ensuring that Zimbabwe is going forward and that we are going to stand for him in Parliament as we know that the electorate loves us and we know that they are going to vote for Zanu PF.
We have resources that are at the disposal of the people to resuscitate businesses.
New dispensation is for people that like giving to the community.
You cannot have money and not give to your own society.
ND: You know President Mnangagwa on a personal level, can you tell us what kind of a person is he?
KM: To me he is not a President, I prefer to call him father, neither comrade nor boss,but father as I know him.
We can never get such a person in Zimbabwe who was poked by Grace Mugabe and remained silent.
He was very humble and smiling whilst being scoffed at.
We saw that it wasn’t him, but God was with him and knew exactly where he wanted to take him.
Others accused him of doing so many things but he did not react.
As we go forward, everyone should learn from him and I myself also learnt from him, that is why I love the people of Kwekwe Central and my love for them can never be taken away.
ND: You have been appearing in the papers for causing havoc in Zanu PF, what really has been happening?
KM: What happened is that those people used force and intimidation for people to attend their meetings and intimidation.
So when they said I stir up situations, it was because the electorate was telling them there is one person in Zanu PF who is loving and treats people nicely, and that person is Bishop Mugabe, so can you please find him a position so that we can air our grievances through him.
So this did not go well with them. Politics is all about popularity and being a servant leader and not their boss.
I’ve always been humble since the beginning.
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