Elliot Ziwira Senior Writer
Mapfumo Peter Gava, president of the United Democratic Front (UDF) says his vision is to create a new Zimbabwe premised on accountability, fiscal discipline and respect for the Constitution.
Mr Gava, the party’s presidential contestant for the July 30 harmonised says his party seeks to create a platform for economic transformation and open up opportunities for the marginalised, especially women and youths.
UDF promises a lean government by abolishing certain posts, while it will reduce cabinet perks, number of foreign trips by the president and other government officials and introduce cheap vehicles for senior civil servants.
“I am from the masses and a new face in the political arena, fresh and not corrupted.
“I do not give false promises. Zimbabweans of all walks of life have great potential, but are drawn back by partisan politics and retrogressive thinking.
“I want to come truthfully and help Zimbabweans regain their dignity in all spheres of life.”
The aspiring leader, who has a background in tourism and wildlife management, believes that devolution is the way to go, as regions have the potential to uplift the people, instead of depending on a centralised government.
“We need region-based springboards to upgrade our economy. Our concern is ensuring that all Zimbabweans are given a fair chance in economic, cultural, education and other essential sectors.”
UDF espouses equality among people, regardless of ethnicity or social background, as there are no minorities and majorities in Zimbabwe.
Although acknowledging that the playing field is even and allowing candidates to canvass for support, Mr Gava bemoans lack of resources for smaller parties like UDF, because the Constitution does not guarantee them State support.
“I would have presumed being nominated to contest automatically qualifies me as a stakeholder, but it’s not the case.
“How free, fair and credible is an election that will have only two well-fed horses competing with 21 frail and malnourished ones?
“Truly, we as new parties are not being taken seriously, or recognised by the electoral system. We are simply being treated like Second Division,” he said.
In the event that his party is given a five year mandate, Mr Gava believes Zimbabwe will be a changed place.
The party promises to have national debts paid up within five years, have a booming industry based on economic performance, bring back confidence in all sectors, especially in the financial sector, introduce a local currency and encourage hard and honest work. Mr Gava articulated that peace, unity of purpose and tolerance are key to growth and a new Zimbabwe.
“National healing is key. No Zimbabwean should remain an economic refugee in post-independent Zimbabwe.
“No Zimbabwean blood should be spilt, nor any life be lost through violence in a free Zimbabwe.”