'Public service is my calling'

HARARE - Tendai Ndoro is contesting for the Hatfield Constituency seat as an independent candidate in the forthcoming elections.

The Daily News on Sunday staff writer Tarisai Machakaire caught up with her to discuss her electoral road map and aspirations as a woman in Zimbabwean politics.

Q: Who is Tendai Ndoro?

A: I am an entrepreneur, strategist, mother, a public administrator, business woman; educator, community and economic development expert.

I also hold a PhD in Public Administration.

I had my Masters in Political Science and have done a lot of work with the donor community as well as the public and private sector.

Q: Why have you decided to join politics?

A: Public service has always been my calling and I decided to enter politics because I realised that as women we now have new opportunities to serve.

As an independent candidate I feel that I would be in a position to contribute without party sanctions and that my independence will bring diversity of capabilities that serve the people.

Q: Why did you choose Hatfield?

A: My family moved to Hatfield in 1979 and I still live there.

I was one of the first five African girls to attend Hatfield Girls High School.

Hatfield is a place that I love. It is filled with very active people and I think it presents a lot of geopolitical advantages that I can help the community to tap into.

Q: What do you intend to once you enter mainstream politics?

A: I bring in a lot of international experience and one thing that is different about me is that I see the people as partners.

I am ready to serve and that is the basis of my manifesto; the question I am asking people that I would represent is; are you ready to serve yourself?

This means that I am expecting a partnership with the people of Hatfield.

On my part I know how to serve my community because I have a tested record of implementing effective and efficient practical strategies and solutions that deliver measurable outcomes and results driven impact.

I believe that as partners we should all have a role to play.

Therefore, I challenge each and every person in the Hatfield constituency to define their role.

Q: Can you tell us more about your manifesto?

A: My manifesto is anchored on the five pillars of business, education, and employment, community and economic development.

But we cannot forget that at the core of each community there are people; they are the social capital of a successful community.

On the business front, I am saying people should act locally but think globally because with technology you no longer have to be physically present in a certain geographical location to conduct business globally.

I have talked to many people here in Hatfield and know that many of us have our own small business establishments.

I will facilitate deal flow through tapping into opportunities that pass through our community.

We need access to contracts and procurement opportunities;

I will advocate for community members to have access to these opportunities.

I am also focused on community development because like the rest of the country community facilities in Hatfield have fallen into disrepair.

I have realised that there are politicians who will come and help people fix potholes during their campaigns but disappear once they get into office.

As a member of Parliament (MP), I am looking forward to working to find sustainable solutions and to mobilise our community members to engage in collective action to revitalise all our community structures including pools, golf course, community library, our clinic, our police station and others.

I am committed to work to identify the resources that can fulfil our goals for vibrant, sustainable community development.

In addition I will focus on economic development and I will leverage local, national, regional and global collaborative and strategic partnerships and relationships to facilitate sustainable economic development for the constituency.

Q: What are some of the issues that you want to push for in Parliament?

A: As an educator and business woman in Parliament I will work with like-minded colleagues to improve policy on education and employment.

On education, I am moving with what I call an entrepreneurial philosophy which embraces anything that is above and beyond formal education.

Children and young adults must be given the opportunities to develop skills for survival in the market place because you will realise that a lot of people these days are not using their degrees but their inert talents.

The idea here is one can make a good living if they horn their talent and learn how to leverage on it.

At constituency level as MP I want to make sure that Hatfield has strong educational institutions and access to viable resources like IT, books, equipment and furniture.

On employment, I believe that we need to train and prepare our youth for opportunities that will open up when foreigners come to invest here; we need them to be ready.

We also need to cultivate an environment of fair employment like equal pay for equal work, create conducive work environments and diverse work-options like flex-time and telecommuting.

With the growing technology trends we need to encourage employers to introduce diverse work-options and processes where individuals, especially women (especially those with young children) can telecommute as a means of cutting the cost of day-care and transportation.

Q: Can you say the current political landscape is considerate of women empowerment and equal representation?

A: We have had women in politics but the question is; are they really empowered?

There are certain socio-economic and cultural factors that seem to silence women.

This is the main reason why I decided to take the independent route.

I feel our society still needs training on gender sensitivity because women need to be included as equal partners in every sector and not censored to express their views.

I feel Zimbabwean women are clear about what they want but they have to learn to be more assertive and break the barriers to entry into politics, leadership, business and so on.

Q: Any other comments?

A: I am ready to serve and I am encouraged by the enthusiasm of the people I have spoken to.

They are keen to change their lives and I believe that together in partnership we can make a great impact on the lives of our community members.

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