ZIMBABWE – “Yes, it’s true I am eyeing a parliamentary seat, but do not forget at the end of the day it is the people of Mbare who decide, it depends on one’s understanding of politics. To me a simplistic definition of politics is “People”.
Knight joins a growing list of journalists that include former Zimbabwe Mirror scribe Grace Kwinjeh (MDC-T), ex-journo, publisher and Makonde MP Kindness Paradza (Zanu PF), ex-ZBC reporter and Mberengwa East MP Makhosini Hlongwane (Zanu PF), ex-ZBC disc jockeys Ezra Sibanda and Eric Knight (both MDC-T), ex-ZBC news anchor Supa Mandiwanzira (Zanu PF) and ex-ZBC announcer James Maridadi (MDC-T) and former Daily News news editor Luke Tamborinyoka (MDC-T).
So in that sense I have always been a person who advocates for freedom, justice and truth. A human being was created to be free, that is why even God never imposes Himself on anyone. He asks you to invite Him.
I have always been a people’s man even at ZBC. That is one of the reasons I had to leave (ZBC) because I stood for the truth,” he told Newsday in an interview.
Knight said he was an MDC supporter. “I was born in the humble streets of Mbare, educated in Mbare, grew up in Mbare and worked at Mbare Studios. So brand Eric Knight was manufactured in Mbare, I owe a lot to the people of Mbare and before I leave planet Earth I want to live a legacy in the area.
I joined MDC-T because their principles match mine. It is a party formed from a workers union remember, their policy has been always the rights of the people. For me MDC-T is a movement, more than a party so any movement that promotes democracy is in line with my dreams for Zimbabwe.”
Knight said his political ambitions began in 2002. “It was in 2002 when I was conscientised about the party by a good friend of mine who was equally committed to democracy and had people at heart, the late Learnmore Jongwe whom I describe as an intelligent comrade, combatant, colleague and brother; may his soul rest in peace.”
“As a Member of Parliament I do not believe in promises, but I believe in openness and transparency. Listen, people are tired of promises. We have been independent for more than 32 years, but do we look like a country that has been free for that long? I was in Mbare recently, it is shocking the kind of houses that people live in, totally unfit for human inhabitancy. Roads all over the country are appalling. The youths are all “dealers”.
“Honestly, where is the country going? Some of our leaders must be ashamed of themselves. Surprising they still want to cling to power after all after these years of leadership, what is it that they can change now that they could not in 32 years?
“Honestly, it is a disgrace. It is time to stop blaming the West for our own problems. We need to work as Zimbabweans and it starts with a committed, people-driven government. The main problem is that our leaders forget that leadership is not a post, it is a responsibility.
Knight said he was not influenced by Ezra Sibanda to enter into politics. “I work with Ezra because we are such a formidable combination, I am told. But tell you what, his decision to venture into politics has nothing to do with mine. It was not discussed. It was a coincidence that he also has political ambitions. Maybe it is simply because we have the same beliefs.”
On broadcasting, Knight said he was shocked by the standards now in Zimbabwe. “I was listening to all stations in Zimbabwe and watched ZTV while I was in the country. My heart bled on seeing how badly the standards have fallen. It is shocking to say the least. This is one of the reasons I want to get into government. The airwaves need a total metamorphosis at all levels.
“I never tried to join these new radio stations. In fact, my friend Ezra Tshisa Sibanda and myself started a vibrant radio in the UK, Visionsradio which is the most popular online Zimbabwean radio station since inception two years ago. We applied for a radio licence alongside all these news stations. But I am very sure the moment it was discovered that the station is owned by Ezra and myself the application was chucked into the bin.
“Not even once did they mention that Eric and Ezra had also submitted an application because they know the people of Zimbabwe would be interested and we would be a huge threat to ZBC and the other stations.
“Yes, one of the new stations wanted me to come aboard, but I put my conditions, one of which I demanded total freedom in my programmes, but as you know they want a “Yes Man”. He said he was not bitter about being sacked from ZBC.
“No, in fact I thank them for giving me an opportunity to show case my God-given talent. When God takes something out of your hand, he is only freeing it to receive something better. Imagine if I had remained at ZBC under those conditions, I would in fact be ashamed to be part of that setup. Do not get me wrong, I am not lambasting any individuals, it is the system that I am against.
ZBC programme content is simply not representative of the majority. I am not surprised at the number of households who now watch DSTV in Zimbabwe. That should tell you something. It has to change.” His family is still in the UK.
“ My kids are doing wonders in the United Kingdom. I thank God for giving me a lovely family and believe me they are going to do greater things than myself because they knew God at a very tender age.”