Mabvuku is in my heart: Masimirembwa

HARARE – Godwils Masimirembwa (GM) from Zanu PF will on July 31 battle against James Maridadi from the MDC for the Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency.

In a bid to understand what the aspiring lawmaker has to offer to the constituency, the Daily News writer Xolisani Ncube (XN) had a wide-ranging interview and below are excerpts from the dialogue.

XN: Who is Godwills Masimirembwa?

GM: Godwills Masimirembwa was born in Murehwa-Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe on December 20, 1959 and during the liberation struggle was a war collaborator. You would be aware that in Uzumba the war of liberation was fought to bring about the independence of this country.

I have been involved in the politics of this country from a very early age; I am a member of Zanu PF. I am a qualified lawyer having gone to school at the University of Zimbabwe where I studied law. I worked in government as a public prosecutor, in the private sector as a legal practitioner and legal advisor. I founded the Zimbabwe Institute of Legal Studies in 2009. I went through the process of registration and we had our first intake in 2010. I am the executive chairperson of the college, the first of its kind.

XN: For how long have you been in legal practise in Zimbabwe.

GM: Well I practised from 1989 to 1994.

XN: And from there?

GM: From there, I had issues with the law society, I was struck off the roll of legal practitioners but went on to become a legal advisor in the private sector.

XN: What issues did you have with the law society?

GM: There were various issues, mismanagement of trust funds, issues pertaining to complaints from clients, the Messenger of Court and so on.

XN: What drove you to go into politics, particularly in this parliamentary race?

GM: I have always been in politics, in fact in 2008 I wanted to participate in that election but eventually I pulled out. I wanted to stand in Harare East; I have been a political animal so to speak.

I saw an opportunity to serve the people of Mabvuku; I have an association with the people of Mabvuku dating back to 2006 because I worked with a non-governmental organisation called Grassroots Women Clubs. It covered part of Mabvuku-Tafara Ward 46. So from that time, I had contact with women in Mabvuku-Tafara.

XN: First you had an interest in Harare East, why Mabvuku now besides the club?

GM: Besides that association, it is very clear that Mabvuku-Tafara offers a greater opportunity for one to be of service to people. In Mabvuku-Tafara you have a lot of unemployment and people who are disadvantaged. There is greater need for service delivery in terms of water, electricity and so on. Whereas when you look at Harare East that is a bit of an affluent suburb where you have your Highlands, you have your Greendale. So there is a greater opportunity to serve in Mabvuku-Tafara.

I have a foundation — The Godwills Masimirembwa Foundation — which I founded in 2007.

It is duly registered as a trust and basically it serves disadvantaged communities. It has always been in my nature to assist where I can. I have a passion of making a difference in the community and it drove me to be in Mabvuku-Tafara than being in Harare East.

XN: Yourself, where do you reside?

GM: Well I have a house in Mabvuku-Tafara but I reside in Highlands.

XN: So how then will you be able to associate with the plight of the people in Mabvuku despite having a house and an association? How will you be able to associate with their daily needs?

GM: The foundation has an office in Mabvuku; we have full time employees in Mabvuku-Tafara. We have been in Mabvuku-Tafara for the past three years serving that community and I am in Mabvuku-Tafara on a daily basis.

XN: Mabvuku-Tafara is one of the suburbs with perennial problems such as water, sewer, how do you intend tackle those challenges.

GM: We have already started tackling the water challenges. First of all the local authority has an obligation to supply water to the people of Mabvuku-Tafara. And this council here led by the MDC has dismally failed to deliver that service to the people of Mabvuku-Tafara.

In order to alleviate that problem, it has to be done at an institutional level. But we have put up around 25 tanks of water with a capacity of 5 000 litres each throughout the constituency and we deliver water to those tanks twice a week, clean borehole water.

XN: How long have you been doing this?

GM: This has now been going on for about two months; it is a project we have been working on for the past three years, sourcing for funding. We are just waiting; we have a donation from a well-wisher for a 20 000-litre tanker which will be delivering water and refilling the tanks. There are areas in Mabvuku which had not had a drop of water for the past seven years. This is because of a council led by the MDC.

The MDC council receives rates in US dollars, yesterday, prior to the dollarisation of the economy, they blamed the Zim dollar, and when we switched to the US dollar economy, they still failed. And you know why they failed, it is because of corruption, secondly when you look at the budget of the city here, 70 percent of that budget pays salaries and what remains is earmarked for service delivery — a paltry 30 percent.

XN: For how long will this water project run — is it not about elections and then you disappear?

GM: I think my history in Mabvuku-Tafara speaks for itself; I have been working with the community since 2007. We are in Mabvuku-Tafara because I have a passion to serve the disadvantaged where I can. The first thing when we got to Mabvuku-Tafara, we attended to the issue of education and unemployment.

We have five students at the University of Zimbabwe we gave scholarships; we have paid school fees for bright students in Mabvuku-Tafara. But most importantly, we bought a 17.5KVA generator for Mabvuku High School in order to revive night school which had died during the past years because of the inefficiencies of MDC councillors.

All the open spaces which were available for play grounds have been taken over and the place has become so crowded. They are no more recreational facilities in Mabvuku-Tafara because of the current council.

XN: These are some of the challenges which lie ahead, without mentioning unemployment, as an individual MP what is it that you have to offer to solve these challenges in the long term?

GM: First of all you need councillors that are pro-poor which MDC councillors have failed to be. As Zanu PF, we need to win and control council, then it is easy to work as a team with MPs, senators and the entire government being Zanu PF.

You talk of unemployment; there are open spaces in Mabvuku-Tafara that can be used to start small-scale projects. We have identified some space were we are going to start these home industries for our people so that we deal with unemployment.

XN: How do you rate yourself against your competitor, I mean James Maridadi?

GM: There is no competitor to talk about, the competitor you are talking about we only started to see him in Mabvuku when the MDC was conducting their primaries. This is a whitewash for me. Maridadi has absolutely no chance in this race. Maridadi only used to come to Mabvuku to see his mother who unfortunately is late now when she was not feeling well.

He has absolutely no knowledge of Mabvuku. You know his story that he abandoned his father who is wallowing in poverty in Hatcliffe. The Lord’s Prayer says that ask for forgiveness from the Lord as we forgive those who trespass against us. What does he have to offer to the people of Mabvuku, a hard-hearted person? 

XN: You are seeking a public office, how accountable will you be?

GM: Very accountable.

XN: And looking at your past track record?

GM: What past record?

XN: You have mentioned that you were once struck off from the law society practitioners roll?

GM: That’s 20 years ago, I had failed to manage my trust accounts then but people grow. I have since been rehabilitated. I will be 100 percent accountable to the people.

You hear Maridadi say that the things I have been doing is an abuse of State funds, a total lie — where does he get this from, absolutely no shrewd of evidence.

XN: Your competitor says you are well-resourced as ZMDC chairperson, are you not abusing State resources for political gain?

GM: Not at all, look at my history you can go to this women’s club. Way back in 2006 when I was not even at ZMDC I helped them. I have been using my resources from my farming activities.

XN: Is there no abuse of diamond proceeds for political gain?

GM: Absolutely not, those are allegations that have been repeatedly made by the MDC not only against me but Zanu PF and the Mines minister.

XN: Your last words to the people out there.

GM: Mabvuku, with me, you have a future.

Comments (7)

Let me state this clearly.Goodwills Masimirembwa will be in for a rude awakening. He takes us for morons and idiots. It is Zanu pf's Chombo who put us in all this mess. For the first 20 years into independence,they abused resources meant for us. All the infrastructure here was constructed during the colonial regime and could no longer cope with the ever increasing population. Mudzuri came in 2002 and Zanu pf's Chombo hounded him out of the office because of his hard work. We do not want anything to do with that rotten party and anyone coming here in that party's name will never get our vote.We haven't forgotten the trauma of Murambatsvina and the cruel murder of Tonderayi Ndira.Forget and smile Masimirembwa

Mabvuku Tafara - 8 July 2013

Thank you Daily News for covering all political parties. It makes us judge the candidates correctly. But we need a blow by blow account of what is happening. Is it not possible for you to upload the manifestos of the political parties on the website for the benefit of the readers. Thank you.

james - 8 July 2013

Goodwhat? bla bla bla. You are aboard a sinking ship so will you!!!

TaTatanga - 8 July 2013

Well said Mr Masimirembwa, but eish, we are sick and tired of Zanu PF.

Chinamhora street, Mabvuku - 8 July 2013

I could not account for funds in private practice, I could not account for diamonds from Chiadzwa at ZMDC, then what more with CDF.

TITO - 9 July 2013

Once a thief, always a thief.Don't use euphemisms when talking about theft. The guy should just say he stole clients' money.

Jorodhani Sithole - 9 July 2013

Zanu can not claim that MDC has destroyed Mabvuku-Tafara while they have in power for 33 years.what improvements did they do for the last 33 years? We will not vote you MR GODwills for nothing.

TK - 9 July 2013

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