Moment of truth for Harare East candidates
THE race for the Harare East National Assembly seat pits Tendai Biti (pictured) of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), Mavis Gumbo of Zanu PF, Lovemore Christopher Mbanga of the MDC-Alliance, Garikai Mlambo of the United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) and Precious Musarurwa of the Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD).
The seat fell vacant after the recall of Biti in 2021 by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Tendai Laxton Biti
Tendai Biti was born on 6 August 1966. He is one of the longest-serving members of Parliament from the opposition in Zimbabwe. He served as Finance minister from 2009 to 2013 during the Government of National Unity.
Biti is also a senior CCC official.
His political journey began around 1988 and 1989 when he was secretary-general of the University of Zimbabwe’s Student Representative Council.
He is a founding member of the MDC and was elected member of Parliament for Harare East constituency in 2000.
Over the years, Biti has served as a member of the portfolio committees on Lands, Agriculture, Water Development, Rural Resources and Resettlement, Defence, Home Affairs, Budget and Finance, and Public Accounts, among others.
If re-elected, he hopes to continue his fight against corruption.
“We have unfinished business around corruption. Whether they take me back to the Public Accounts Committee, I don’t know and I don’t care. What I know is that we are going back to finish the unfinished work of fighting corruption,” he said.
Gumbo’s phone went unanswered during the different intervals The NewsHawks reached out to her to discuss her candidature.
She has worked in both the public and private sectors.
Musarurwa is a human rights defender who has worked in both public and private sectors, the film industry included. She is a qualified reflexology practitioner registered with the Institute of Reflexology America and is currently a media studies student with a local university.
She is one of the pioneers of the Anti-Corruption Citizens Taskforce, a youthful movement against corruption by the elite, that is pro-youth access to national resources.
Musarurwa, together with other women’s rights defenders, was a court applicant challenging the justice delivery system, Women’s Affairs ministry and apostolic churches on the alignment of the Marriage Bill with the constitution in ending child marriages.
In 2021, she received a Gender Champion award from the Netherlands embassy for her efforts in protecting the rights of girls and women in Domboshava.
Although it is her first time vying for a parliamentary seat, she is confident of victory.
“I’m expecting a landslide victory in the race for the Harare East member of Parliament seat against Biti of CCC and Mavis Gumbo of Zanu PF, who are senior players in the political arena,” she said.
Musarurwa intends to advocate for inclusivity, a move which she said will lead to the benefit of the formal and informal sectors in her constituency and beyond.
“I intend to challenge the political conflicting trajectory towards a more embracing, diversified approach beneficial to the formal and informal sectors of the constituency and beyond,” she says.
“With 42 years of Zanu PF rule and 22 years of opposition MDC representation, Harare East has suffered and fallen from its former glory. It’s a stark reminder of what it used to be and the effects of unresolved and continued political conflicts. The constituency development has been compromised by political differences and massive looting of land at local council, to national governance.”
Christopher Lovemore Mbanga
Mbanga is a City of Harare former deputy mayor who has been a resident of Highlands suburb since 1978.
He is the current chairperson of the Catholic University of Zimbabwe council.
If elected Harare East’s legislator, he hopes to provide mature, honest, experienced, dignified and sober counsel as well as provide an oversight role in government and municipal services rendered in his constituency.
“To the people of Harare East, I promise to provide mature, honest, experienced, dignified and sober counsel in, among others, the utilisation of Constituency Development Funds, monitoring progress of devolution to local authorities and promoting and coordinating challenges and problems being faced by residents,” Mbanga said.
“I also intend to provide an oversight role for government and municipal services being rendered to residents in wards (Highlands, Greendale and Tafara) and highlight any challenges to Parliament and the executive through responsible ministers.”
Mlambo declined a telephone interview withThe NewsHawks.