Maridadi vies for Mabvuku-Tafara

HARARE – James  Maridadi, a former popular radio DJ presenter and announcer with ZBC traded his broadcasting career for politics, initially working as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson before moving to being head of protocol.

This year he has thrown his candidature in the hat and will battle it out with Godwills Masimirembwa from Zanu PF in the Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency.

The Daily News reporter Xolisani Ncube (XN), spoke to Maridadi (JM) and below are excerpts from the interview.

XN: Who is James Maridadi?

JM: I have been in the public life for the greater part of my adult life, having worked as a journalist for ZBC for about 10 years as a radio and TV presenter.

I left ZBC in 2000 when things were not going well at ZBC and joined a local bank as a manager before joining Zesa.

I then joined the Prime Minister’s office firstly as the spokesperson, then as director of protocol, a position I still hold.

At the moment I am on special leave because when you file nomination papers as a civil servant, you have to go on leave.

XN: What links you to Mabvuku?

JM: I grew up in Mabvuku and did most of my schooling there. Actually I spent most of my life in Mabvuku and I can challenge anyone living there today who knows Mabvuku better than me. I know Mabvuku since the 70s to this day. 

XN: Let’s talk about your political history; besides being the spokesperson of the Prime Minister, what other roles have you played in the MDC?

JM: I have not held any senior position in the MDC but have been an active member of the party since its formation in 1999.

In 1998 while I was on radio and I did most interviews with people involved in the formation of the party the likes of Job Sikhala and Nelson Chamisa to an extent that I was suspended for doing unsanctioned interviews.

It was an advantage for me to be at ZBC as I gave coverage to the party.

So I have been an active member of the party since then although strategically it wasn’t wise to go public.

XN: Mabvuku has perennial problems such as water, unemployment and poor service delivery. What do you promise the electorate in your constituency?

JM: It would not be wise for me to promise residents heaven on earth but I think what I need to urge them is that they should help me so that I help them.

They should help me by registering to vote and have to go and vote in their numbers.

For real change, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai must win the presidency and when he is the president with majority MPs in Parliament then communities can be assured that they would benefit immensely.

Look, we have been in this inclusive government where there was shared executive authority between President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Cabinet.

Most of the changes that the Prime Minister would have wanted implemented could not because of the nature of the government.

What I am telling the people of Mabvuku is that; go and register and come voting day, go and vote in masses for Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC so that all changes that they want take place.

When that happens, I can promise the people of Mabvuku that all problems of water, potholes and unemployment will be a thing of the past.

XN: You talk about unemployment, as an aspiring MP for Mabvuku what programmes do you have for the youths who are wallowing in poverty?

JM: For me and the MDC in general, the future of Zimbabwe lies in the youths, if we want to solve today’s problems, youths have to participate in this year’s election.

Any youth who is unemployed should vote for MDC, anyone seeking to end water shortages in Mabvuku, should vote for MDC and its leaders.

From an analysis that I did in Mabvuku, I discovered that close to 95 percent are unemployed due to Zanu PF’s bad policies and their disastrous governance.

Many Mabvuku residents benefit from a thriving industrial in Msasa but this has been killed by Zanu PF corruption and poor governance, look at ZimPhos (Chemplex).

It has been run down by those in Zanu PF leadership during their reign.

Msasa Jaggers was destroyed after being indigenised resulting in close to 1 000 workers being jobless. All these people have a reason to vote for the MDC because we are talking about employment creation and not destruction.

This will only be solved through voting for Tsvangirai and his entire team of councillors, Senators and MPs.

XN: Looking at your competitors in this race, how are your chances?

JM: I have no competition to talk about, I know that my rival from Zanu PF is busy splashing ill-gotten money to the people, he is giving freebies, beer and all sorts of material things, but I want to advice the voters in my constituency to go and take the free things, come voting day, they should vote with their minds and heart knowing what the future holds for us and our children.

In any case, the money being used is State funds being abused by those entrusted with it.

XN: Why do you think the MDC will win and you yourself you will win?

JM: It is because of the party’s performance in the inclusive government, we demonstrated our eagerness to reform Zimbabwe.

Residents know that, they are beneficiaries of the stabilisation brought about by the MDC.

Workers from Msasa Jaggers know how indigenisation affected their lives.

We in the MDC are saying let us have a broad-based empowerment programme and not this elitist of looting.

XN: But Zanu PF is saying the programme is successful?

JM: I can count Zanu PF officials who have benefited from the indigenisation programme, because it is only a few individuals benefitting and not the majority of the suffering masses.

XN: What drove you into politics? Is it about riches?

JM: There is no benefit in being a politician but just the love for my constituency and desire to represent them.

I could have remained at ZBC if wanted money, I was a popular DJ, but I refused to be abused like what is happening to my colleagues who remained.

I would have made money by bootlicking those in power like what is happening today at the station, but I refused that.

More so, I was a manager at Zesa and a bank but still moved on.

XN: How accountable will you be to the electorate?

JM: I am going to set up a constituency development committee which will be inclusive.

The electorate will be able to hold me accountable through that group.

The team will be inclusive of all political parties in Mabvuku and all stakeholders who make up Mabvuku.

On top of that, I am prepared to declare all of my  assets to the people of Mabvuku as soon as I get into office for them to do a check on me anytime they want.

XN: What are your last words to the people out there and voters from Mabvuku?

JM: Let us go and finish the struggle we begun in 1999 by voting overwhelming for Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC councillors, Senators and MPs.

Let us vote in peace and ensure that Zimbabwe gets back to its former glory.

To the people of Mabvuku, this is our chance to show that we can transform our lives by voting in peace and for change at last.

Comments (2)

Saka murikurambirei maelections this month? There is nothing to fear. You will win.

james - 5 July 2013

ndiwo mapotential presidents ka aya

NICOLE - 5 July 2013

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