Former Redcliff mayor Freddy Kapuya (FK) was recently elected National Assembly representative for Mhondoro-Mubaira on a Zanu PF ticket. NewsDay reporter Blessed Mhlanga (ND) caught up with him to find out what plans he holds for the rural constituency.
ND: What did you promise to the people of Mhondoro-Mubaira to vote for you?
FK: First of all, I am one of them, I belong here, born and bred here and I know their challenges and I will rise up to the task to do what they want. All my life I have been here, yes, I have been in Midlands, but this has always been my home every weekend I would come back home for the past 10 years.
ND: Now that you are elected, what is your vision for the constituency.
FK: If you look at my manifesto, it talks about industries in the rural areas and good roads. If you look at Mubaira, there was a big dairy project, there was a big factory, so we need to resuscitate them. This is the capital city of Mhondoro and by saying the capital city, everything should start from here. Mhondoro is blessed with citrus fruit. A few years ago, 30-tonne trucks would always come and ferry guavas and oranges, which they would take to Harare for processing. Why can’t we do it here? That’s my passion.
ND: You have been mayor for Redcliff, why did you leave that challenging job to become Member of Parliament?
FK: I want to grow, I want rise even to become a minister. You can’t be a minister when you are a mayor. If you look at Redcliff, I have done more than what other people before me have done. I have done better than previous mayors. We did the roads and we have brought industries, why can’t I extend it to my home area.
ND: We have seen people begging for votes and once they get elected, they disappear, how do you hope to be different?
FK: I have been tried and tested, I have been mayor for five years, councillor for five years, dealing with people, maybe it was 40 000 to 50 000 people all looking up to me as the first servant of Redcliff, now am the first servant in Mhondoro-Mubaira.
ND: Some people say that Zanu PF party and government should never be given a chance because they are to blame for the suffering that the electorate is experiencing now, why do you think Zanu PF has the solution?
FK: We have learnt from our mistakes. If you see how His Excellency (President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa) is re-engaging and correcting the mistakes we have been making all these years, you can see how serious Zanu PF is to make a better Zimbabwe. That is the same spirit here in Mhondoro. Zanu PF, yes, has been in power for the past 38 years, but the personality at the top of the party matters. We have a new dispensation, new leaders and new energy, so expect to get different results.
ND: There are some who believe that Zanu PF officials only care about themselves, they care about their own careers, are you not part of that crop?
FK: No, I am not, it is just a myth, but if you look at our leader [Mnangagwa], he is not concerned about himself, he cares about the country that’s why he has gone out of his way to re-engage the world so that the generality of Zimbabwe can benefit.
ND: But last November you were the same people who were saying former President Robert Mugabe was your best foot forward, you attended rallies and sloganeered just to keep your positions, is it not the same now?
FK: Let me say that it is not the generality of Zimbabwe who rose up against Mugabe, it’s Zanu PF which started the renewal process and everyone joined in. MDC joined later, they couldn’t do it, all other parties could not do it, but when Zanu PF said enough is enough, everybody joined in.
ND: I know you have business interests in Kwekwe, what are you going to offer the people of Mubaira when you have commitments in the Midlands?
FK: Firstly, I am a businessman before I am a politician, even here in Mubaira if you see today we are overwhelmed with the accommodation crisis. These are investment opportunities. Even me, it will be important to invest back home to build hotels. We have a mine that was recently commissioned by His Excellency, that’s all business opportunities. That’s why we are here − we need to develop our town, city and rural home.
ND: What do you think is in store for the people of Zimbabwe.
FK: Good things are in store for the people of Zimbabwe. The commissioning and ground-breaking ceremonies of different companies are a testimony of what is in store for Zimbabwe. Different companies in manufacturing, mining and agriculture are being resuscitated − people now have faith in the leadership of Zimbabwe, leadership of Zanu PF.
ND: Taking you away from politics, you have been part of Zimbabwe Cricket which is performing badly right now, how do you feel?
FK: When we left Zimbabwe Cricket, we also had our challenges because I was a mayor and now they have got challenges in terms of finances. We should also admit that we don’t have a player base strong enough to take us were we belong.
ND: Given that you are now getting into Parliament, what is your move in terms of making sure that we have that player base?
FK: We should go back to the junior policy of yesterday, do the franchise system, bring back the Logan Cup, resuscitate the provincial league, that’s how we can develop players. Club cricket should be played from colts up to the national team.
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