'MPs neglect people's plight'

HARARE - Outspoken lawyer Fadzayi Mahere has said she is going to contest to become an MP after realising that legislators were not representing the plight of long-suffering ordinary Zimbabweans.

In a live video on Facebook this week, Mahere — who is eyeing the Mt Pleaseant seat — said her interest to become an MP was triggered following the “illegal introduction” of bond notes and the realisation that the National Assembly was packed with MPs who did not care about citizens’ lives.

“We need more voices in Parliament, about the issues affecting everyday Zimbabweans. We need to take our concerns into Parliament. It’s my promise that I will represent this constituency with honesty, integrity and with passion,” she said.

“…in the next three months, I will be visiting residents in the Mt Pleasant community,” Mahere said, adding that this will enable her to get the issues that affect the residents and seek solutions.

However, her announcement has already created controversy, with people interrogating her links with the ruling party, as she is the daughter of a senior Zanu PF member — Stephen Mahere.

Mahere — born and bred in the upmarket Mt Pleasant suburb — also faces tough competition from the current MP Jason Passade, who has already started campaigning for re-election, and other opposition party candidates, including from the MDC, which used to hold the seat.

Recently, Passade sponsored a Miss Mt Pleasant pageant, in a bid to lure young voters and grow his popularity.

Mahere argued that the introduction of the bond notes was a huge let down of the ordinary people, as MPs did not fight against it.

“Last year, as we all know, the Reserve Bank (of Zimbabwe) governor John Mungudya made an announcement that rocked me to the core...with such ease and no legislation he casually announced the introduction of bond notes. I had already been outraged by the introduction of the bond coins and here we were continuing on the same illegal path,” she said.

She said her encounter with the central bank chief during a dialogue on bond notes changed her path.

“On this path we had ... to speak out, to ask questions and to act, to see within each other the solutions we have for our future. The more we sought answers the more we realised there was no one willing to give in, we have tried to encourage accountability and transparency but we have been met with resistance, half-truths and more ironically, silence.

“Our Parliament has been largely incapable of representing the best interests of the citizens. There are reports of some parliamentarians who spend an entire year without saying a single word.  Citizens are largely forgotten in the season between elections, yet our lives are lived within these silent moments,” Mahere said.

“It is against this backdrop that I am announcing my intention to run as an independent candidate for the Mt Pleasant constituency.”

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