Elliot Ziwira Senior Writer
MS Melbah Dzapasi, leader of #1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe (FMZ), has said her vision is to pursue a protectionist policy that will give Zimbabweans control of agriculture, infrastructure and mining sectors. She said her party espoused the values of the First Chimurenga, the 20th Century resistance to colonial rule by mostly black Zimbabweans.
Ms Dzapasi (44), who is FMZ co-party leader alongside Dr Francis Danha, and is the presidential contestant for the harmonised elections scheduled for July 30, told The Herald that if given a five-year mandate, the party’s priority was to wage a new economic war to liberate indigenous Zimbabweans from decades of economic exploitation.
“My introduction to politics was a calling into wider work, which led me to form Divine Alliance for Vitalisation of Inspired Development Party (DAVID Party) in 2016,” she said.
“Since then, I have been interacting with people on a one-on-one basis, letting them know of my vision for our nation; a vision premised on unity and faith.
“As FMZ, our vision is to empower indigenous people. As outlined in our manifesto, we promise the electorate a new Zimbabwe where the retail, gold and diamond mining, as well as agriculture sectors are protected through legislation for the benefit of citizens.”
Ms Dzapasi expressed concern on compensation for land acquired through colonisation, which she said should have been corrected at independence in 1980; because the liberation struggle was about the land.
“Through unity of purpose, as #1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe, we are embarking on a new battle to bring to fruition the seeds of the liberation struggle sown in the First and Second Chimurengas, culminating in a protracted war that brought back our land; the bedrock of our economy, stolen from us by colonialists,” she said.
“However, in 1980 we got independence and our fellow black man became leader of our beloved Zimbabwe, but our economy remained in the hands of colonialists, which in this case is evidenced by the economic decadence we have experienced from the time of the land reform programme, spearheaded by the ruling party.”
If given the mandate to govern, Ms Dzapasi, a fashion designer and entrepreneur, said she will ascertain that tobacco farmers will get 100 percent foreign currency, breast-feeding mothers are entitled to monthly allowances and that deceased estate tax is abolished.
Through land audits that will reduce farm sizes and encourage full utilisation, the FMZ leader pledged that all Zimbabweans will be entitled to the land and improve their livelihoods.
Although she expressed optimism that she would win the ticket to State House, Ms Dzapasi said as a party they still felt that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was failing to fulfil its mandate.
“We believe that ZEC has already failed to fulfill its mandate to run a free, fair and credible election,” she said. “And as an action oriented party, we shall use all our necessary radical resistance voice to show our distrust and disregard for the choreographed spin doctored poll.
“The underlying fundamentals such as proper inspection of a finished roll was not done, and members of the public were not accorded their constitutional right to inspect the voters roll,” she charged.
Voters were, however, given an entire month to inspect the roll with those not yet registered getting the opportunity to do so.
FMZ declared that the Nomination Court was flawed because many candidates were disqualified and their representatives were ejected from the peace pledge signing event on June 26.
“It was a rushed proclamation leading to a flawed Nomination Court, leading to the disqualification of candidates across the political divide because nominees were alleged to be off the roll when the political parties were not even availed the same roll given to the courts,” she said.
“We were illegally evicted from the peace pledge event. We still await a written formal apology from the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission. Non-violent election is not necessarily a free and fair poll.”