Fierce contest for Harare Central seat
MURISI Zwizwai of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) party, Norest Marara of the MDC-Alliance, Loice Magweba of Zanu PF, Linda Tsungirirai Masarira of the Labour Economists and Afrikan Democrats and Henry Gwinyai Rukanda of MA’AT Zimbabwe are jostling for the Harare Central parliamentary seat in the by-elections slated for 26 March.
The seat fell vacant after Zwizwai was recalled from Parliament by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora.
The NewsHawks reached out to Zwizwai on more than five occasions and, at each instance, he said he was going to be in touch to discuss his candidature, but never did.
Zwizwai is one of the longest-serving members of Parliament. He served in the Government of National Unity (GNU) as deputy minister of Mines and Mining Development.
Marara (48) was born and raised in Chiweshe, Mazowe and he later came to Harare looking for employment after completing high school.
He is a father of four and a holder of an LCCI marketing diploma, certificate in customs and clearing and is currently studying towards attaining a Master’s degree in logistics and supply chain management with a British university.
Marara joined the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999. He says his participation in party programmes saw him becoming personal friends with the party’s founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai.
If elected, Marara intends to work with residents and encourage their participation in decision-making processes as well as work cooperatively with relevant authorities to set up a trade investment office, among other developments.
“I will work with residents and encourage their participation in our decision making. Whatever we do in the constituency must be driven by the residents, not by us politicians to impose our ideas on them,” he said.
“As an MP for Harare Central, I would also love to work cooperatively with members of Parliament, senators, councillors and central government to set up a trade and investment office. The overarching strategic thrust is to bring trade and business opportunities into the capital to enable an increase in the bases of tax rates and, most importantly, create employment,’’ Marara added.
Magweba declined to speak to The NewsHawks about her candidature. She is a renowned educationist and businessperson.
Linda Tsungirirai Masarira
Linda Masarira (39) founded the LEAD party in 2019 with the aim of taking head-on the selfish political party leaders who obstruct ordinary citizens from enjoying Zimbabwe’s resources.
Born on 3 October 1982 at Whange Colliery Hospital, Linda — the eldest child of John Joseph Masarira, a retired chartered surveyor and Perpetua Masarira, the headmistress of Herman Gmeiner High School — attained her primary education at Hallingbury Primary School in Harare and enrolled for secondary education at Marlborough High School for Forms One and Two, before moving to Chipindura High School in Bindura to do her Form Three up to Five.
Her political career commenced in Hwange as an MDC activist before dumping the party in protest, accusing former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai of betraying the people’s struggle by allegedly going into hiding in Botswana during the bloody 2008 elections.
Masarira has joined and left a number of political parties such as the then Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T and was also a founder member of Tajamuka/Sesijikile, a social movement that was a nightmare for the late former President Robert Mugabe, demanding his ouster for destroying the economy and violating human rights.
Masarira said, once in office, she will add her voice to important labour issues in the National Assembly.
If elected, she hopes to push for devolution of power and be a voice for labour issues in Parliament.
“My campaign is mainly hinged on development, devolution of power, depolarisation and decolonisation of mindsets. I also want to focus on labour issues. It is unfortunate that we have former trade unionists who have neglected their role,” she said.
Henry Gwinyai Rukanda
Rukanda’s phone went unanswered.