One of Kwekwe’s leading lawyers Josinia Maupa (JM), who is also a former magistrate has turned to politics as an independent candidate looking to upstage front runners NPF, Zanu PF and MDC Alliance for the Kwekwe Central constituency. Blessed Mhlanga (ND) caught up with Maupa for his views.
ND: You are a successful lawyer who had stayed away from politics, can you tell us why you have chosen to venture into politics at this stage?
JM: I have been thinking and I still think and believe that the politics of Zimbabwe has no lease, it’s not as is if in life you start here and end at a particular point. So since politics has no lease and is not regulated by any lease agreement, I believe I have a democratic right to play my part in building the nation.
ND: Many people consider politics as a dirty game, are you prepared to get dirty?
JM: In my view, I think and I have made my own assessment and I realised that the new dispensation has cleansed the political play ground and as a result of that cleansing, I thought probably I could be part and parcel of the political process in Zimbabwe.
ND: You are talking of the new dispensation, why then did you decide to come as an independent candidate instead of entering the race as a Zanu PF candidate, because you appear to believe in what Zanu PF stands for?
JM: It’s a new dispensation in the country, not a new dispensation in Zanu PF in particular because the new dispensation in my view as a candidate has a lot to do with the development of the country. It also has a lot to do with various stakeholders, socio-political situation of the country even though I understand that and appreciate as you realise I would have been a successful lawyer and as I have indicated there is nothing that inhibits anybody from breaking these horizons.
ND: Do you think Zimbabwe is ready for independent candidates because we have noticed that in the past that people who have participated as independent candidates have not been really successful.
JM: I believe there is a beginning for everything, and even life itself has a beginning, so I believe my participation as an independent could be a beginning of a new era probably in the political sphere here in Zimbabwe, and Kwekwe in particular, probably could have started as a joke but might drift into some form of reality.
ND: What is it that you are putting on the table for the electorate?
JM: Well, I’ve been in Kwekwe for the past 28 years and I believe I’m best posed to appreciate the needs of the people at the moment, given my background as a practitioner and also given my background as former magistrate in Kwekwe and also as a citizen of this community. I believe that I’ve been to all corners of this community and I’ve seen all people that are part and parcel of Kwekwe. I’ve also seen Kwekwe under various political dispensations, so I believe I’m better placed to correct what I believe could have been done better.
ND: What are these things that you think could have been done better that you want to correct?
JM: The general development of the community of Kwekwe, but you see there is need to regularise the gap between the upper class and the lower class of the community, the infusion of various citizens of Kwekwe and without isolating anyone. The community has all the resources and I think those are the issues that need to be addressed
ND: How do you propose to do this because in Parliament there is the whipping system, the party with majority always carries the day and you being an independent candidate how do you propose to do this?
JM: I believe I can influence other parliamentarians to try and realise and accommodate my views because I also believe that Parliament is not just a place where people go and just sit because of their affiliation to their party or particular organisation. Parliamentarians are destined to improve the lives of their communities and I believe I will be working hand in glove with these parliamentarians even being an independent, I have the capacity to impress them so that they can realise what is good for the country.
ND: We have heard that the candidates that you are facing have a rich pool of resources, how do you propose to match that?
JM: I’m coming into the election race and actually joined the process at a late stage. I joined the process when the sun was almost setting but sometimes, rivers can flow upstream. I don’t have silver and gold, but I am coming to you in good will, so well I could have heard stories of money being dished out here and there but I am coming to the people in good will and I have always said I am joining this race with the view of letting people know that sometimes it is important to think with your heart, not your brain. Because the brain is notorious and therefore I’m just saying if you think with your heart, I am sure we will get where we want to get. We will get to realise that there is no need to splash out money. There is no need to be violent, there is need to have a credible and non-violent election.
ND : There is something that has been thrown in the centre of your campaign that you are a project planted to destabilise Zanu PF, what’s your response to that?
JM: No, I am not a project and I don’t think I will ever be a project because I am an independent person, I have made an independent decision.
ND: What principles do you stand for as a man?
JM: That’s another mouthful, whatever I am looking at as a principle, I also stand for transparency because I believe there will be some transparency in the road and corruption I believe is a song in any given community be it in UK or US or SA and even in Zimbabwe it is a topical issue. So in my view, no politician can avoid the debate of corruption and no serious politician can neither debate on transparency. No serious politician can avoid his willingness to assist the people as it were so I have been assisting various organisations before. But as I indicated earlier on, I could have been doing clandestinely without broadcasting what we have been doing. It’s only now that I’m institutionalising them through my participation in the elections.