Why Mahere’s brave entry into mainstream politics is helpful

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Advocate Fadzayi Mahere (pictured) has offered herself as a candidate for the Mount Pleasant constituency parliamentary seat. There was a lot of grumbling by various people on social media with a lot of people decrying her decision to stand as an independent.

Tapiwa Mubonderi,Businessman

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MDC-T supporters feel this move takes away from their “big tent” approach, which is consolidation of all opposition forces against Zanu PF

What we have is a case of people feeling spurned because Mahere has come into the public sphere and led spirited efforts at active citizenship. Her energy and profile will be a boon to any political organisation and she has decided to bank on the strength of her personality.

She made an analysis of the available political parties and felt that their ideas do not resonate with hers. This is the main reason they are not happy with her as they feel she is not endorsing their political affiliations and is not interested in joining them.

If our political parties were to view giving people the best candidates for the constituencies rather than filling seats with party members, there would be merit in making a deal with Mahere and not contesting in that constituency and allowing her to represent the constituency.

Idea-wise, she is better than the incumbent MP Jaison Passade and the former MP Jameson Timba. However, the partisanship and polarisation in our society takes away the merit of such moves. Some people were criticising her father’s history as a senior government official, saying it makes her a Zanu PF product. There is nothing wrong with associating with Zanu PF.

Established political parties have got structures that will guarantee them competitiveness in elections. A lot of commentators were questioning the chances of an independent candidate succeeding, but the facts are that Mt Pleasant is an area with a high level of social media penetration and this should enable her to run a viable political campaign. Traditional ways of communication and canvassing for support have been supplanted and her idea to engage volunteers and do campaign outreach efforts should give her good prospects of winning.

For our systems to work better, our people need to stop being beholden to political parties, in cases where a preferred political party chooses to field a proverbial monkey to stand in a constituency. The logical thing is to select the best candidate available. Big political parties can recover from electoral losses and such decisions will enable them to field better candidates in future.

During election time, it is worrying that when analysing candidates, there is little focus on type of candidates, but focus on parties and a lot of proverbial goat skinners get put in positions of authority. When things like this happen, constituencies suffer, hence voters should be more discerning instead of engaging in blind partisanship.

The merits for Mahere’s case in offering herself as a parliamentary candidate are that she has made several public overtures to change mindsets and highlight shortcomings in our society. Her professional background shows that this is a person who is not just being opportunistic, but is cognisant of the challenge she has taken on. Her articulation of points of law will be useful in the business of the legislature. Our legislature and main political parties are not short of legal skills and this is what makes her position admirable as she chose to showcase herself and not ride on political party support. She could be an objective voice in deliberations in the August house. What she is offering the constituency will be interesting to learn.

Her challenge at present is she is targeting a constituency before the delimitation exercise, meaning the current boundaries may be redefined. But all the same, her stance is commendable as she is offering herself for public office and willing to participate in the corridors of power to bring change.

We need more people like her. This polarised and divisive zero-sum approach based on interests of big political parties will not improve our national processes. In this instance, it will be good for the underdogs to prevail. — khuluma africa.

Mubonderi is managing director at Pahlani Secretaries & Administrators.

One thought on “Why Mahere’s brave entry into mainstream politics is helpful”

  1. NOMUSA GARIKAI says:

    Comrade Tapiwa Mubonderi perhaps you can answer me because no one else, not even Mahere herself has bothered to do so.

    We have the important issue of Zimbabwe elections being rigged. Is Fadzai Mahere contesting these election because she does not know elections are rigged or she does not care that they are rigged?

    I find it hard to believe that she does not know that Zanu PF has been rigging elections. It was none other than Mount Pleasant constituency, the very constituency she is going to be a candidate next year, where we saw hooded Zanu PF youths who were bussed in to vote.

    “She made an analysis of the available political parties and felt that their ideas do not resonate with hers. This is the main reason they are not happy with her as they feel she is not endorsing their political affiliations and is not interested in joining them,” you told us.

    And continued for the rest of the article on the same vein telling us how clever she is, etc. but nowhere in all your rumbling have you acknowledge the problem of vote rigging, the elephant in the room, much less what she is doing about it.

    Zanu PF’s landslide victory is made in the rural constituencies where the regime frogmarching the people to attend its rallies and then to vote for the party. From the looks of it, Fadzai Mahere is a member of the nose-brigade coming from the ruling elite and very proud of it. She clearly does not care about the misery of those in the rural areas, she does not care that they are frogmarched to rallies. She does not care that Zanu PF continues to stay in power by rigging election and that the regime’s misrule has forced millions, especially in the rural areas, into a live of abject poverty.

    All she cares about is security for herself a seat on the gravy train by whatever means. Since she wants an urban seat, she could not win it on a Zanu PF ticket and so she has decided to stand as an independent candidate. Zanu PF will probably help her fund her campaign since she is one of their own!

    Anyone, anyone at all, in the opposition camp contesting Zimbabwe’s elections knowing fully well the elections are going to rigged is doing so out of greed, they know Zanu PF will give away a few gravy train seats or/and they are paid by Zanu PF to contest. There is no other logical reason why anyone with even half a brain would contest such blatantly flawed elections.

    The motive of those justifying why people like Mahere are contesting is yet to be established but sheer stupidity will be a good starting point!

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