POLITICAL activist Lynette Mudehwe (LM) is vying for the Dangamvura-Chikanga seat under the MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe. She tells our senior reporter Obey Manayiti (ND) that the previous legislators had failed to adequately represent the constituency. Mudehwe has a plan of transforming Dangamvura-Chikanga. Below are excerpts:
By Obey Manayiti
ND: Can you briefly tell us about yourself? When did you start political activism?
LM: I started political activism in 2006 during my third year at Mutare Teachers’ College, where I successfully trained as a Science teacher.
The government withdrew student loans and we fought running battles, as this was going to affect many students, myself included, and we could not afford to pay school fees. I was elected the spokesperson of Zinasu [Zimbabwe National Students’ Union] at a congress in 2006.
ND: What motivated you to stand for Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency?
LM: Total disregard of the people of Dangamvura-Chikanga by the main political parties over the years rattled my feathers. I was born, bred and reside in Dangamvura.
I have seen this beautiful town deteriorating. We grew up with water flowing in our taps 24/7. We had roads, not gullies.
Our rubbish bins were collected weekly and on a specific timetable. We don’t have adequate medical facilities in the constituency.
Imagine, my mother was the first group of nurses that worked at Dangamvura Polyclinic in 1980, we still have one clinic with a trebled population.
We have eight primary schools and only four secondary schools (public schools), but we are saying each public primary school must have a high school. Political parties chose candidates who do not come from this constituency, thus, they do not have real genuine love to develop Dangamvura-Chikanga. I come from this ghetto and want to work with my people to fix this.
ND: You are contesting against well-established political opponents from Zanu PF and MDC Alliance, what are your chances?
LM: This is a largely opposition influenced area. The Zanu PF candidate is not an issue in this election and has been rejected by the people since time immemorial. This is an MDC-T stronghold area and I have been an MDC-T member from 2006. I worked for MDC-T as the national women’s co-ordinator from 2007 to 2009.
I am known as a dedicated activists, having founded Zimbabwe Activists Alliance (ZAA) of the Occupy Africa Unity Square in 2016 and a founding member of #Tajamuka/Sesijikile.
The Alliance candidate is a serving MP for Musikavanhu and he has been MP of that underdeveloped constituency for 10 years.
The electorate is questioning why he left his home and how he can help us, having failed to help his own people.
Ten years in Parliament is enough, people need real change. The electorate now has a choice and is warming up to having a young woman coming from the community representing them on July 30.
ND: Your presidential candidate, Thokozani Khupe, seems unpopular, as compared to other presidential candidates. Is this not going to affect your campaign?
LM: Information is power. The role of the legislator is to facilitate and co-ordinate development in the constituency.
The MP and councillor work hand in glove to better the lives of the ordinary people, not the president.
My campaign is to be an MP and zeroes in on ensuring that devolution is implemented as well as developing the constituency according to the city Master Plan. I am accepted by my people as one of them and as being honest about my vision.