(Last Updated on November 3, 2022 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
Journalist Tsitsi Patience Mashiri from Zimbabwe Daily (ZD) had a sit down with DAVID Party President, Melbah Dzapasi (MD) to talk about her party and the prospects for 2023 on the show, Meet the Candidate that airs every Monday at 1200hrs on the Zimbabwe Daily Facebook, Youtube and Twitter platforms and had a very interesting conversation.
ZD : What is your name and which political party do you represent?
MD: My name is Melbah Dzapasi from Devine Alliance for Vitalisation of Inspired Development (DAVID) .
ZD: How did you come to realise that you needed to form your own political party?
MD: My situation is a bit of unique, l started having dreams, and l would wake up and laugh at myself and say aaa President Mugabe said zviroto zviroto, ukarota uri president muka ubike doro, and so I dismissed the dreams. However, some of the dreams did happen though, because I remember l used to dream myself having conversations with the sitting President and l was addressing him as President at that time, so l would wonder how come l am addressing Cde Munangagwa as the President at the time he wasn’t even the President. So in 2017 when ED assumed office to me it was the manifestation of the dream, and a confirmation of my dreams so it then gave me courage to form my own political party.
ZD: Are you facing any challenges as a female candidate?
MD: When l went into politics, the people and even my family were not ready for me to partake in politics. Society taught them that women should be at home doing the house chores to mention a few, so l reached a point where l was an outcast in my own community, even in the family, people saying how come? Why didn’t you join other leading political parties like Zanu PF ? Some would remind me of the violence that happened in 2018 and they will look away and go. There was a time when we were in the election season people would say we will count the votes you will garner in an election and if you win in this area we are going to burn all the houses, so my family was so scared.
l reminded my mother that there once was a liberation struggle and we had women who went to fight, some of them never came back even to the battlefields they died along the way and it really touched me and l would sing the song Amai nababa musandicheme kana ndafa ndini ndakazvida kufira nyika. This is who l am , this is whom l have become. I told her, you have to accept me l am following the inspiration from my heart and the dream that l had. Even from the name of the party, it gives me strength. l am like a David who was sent to deal with a Goliath in our lives.
It is not easy to campaign freely in Zimbabwe because of political violence intimidation even the Polad cars we drive people say l speak against the government that feeds me.
ZD: Do you think your political party has the capacity to solve Zimbabwe’s problems?
MD: We have the capacity. Our mandate as the government, is to improve the lives, wellbeing , education , civil sector of the whole nation, so we are focused on growth and development of our nation. RIght now we are giving back to the community, we donate to schools, individuals and communities.
ZD:The last March by-elections have been characterised by voter apathy and voters did not turn up in their numbers , what do you attribute voter apathy and how is David Party going to influence a change in voter participation?
MD : On voter apathy l believe, its just that the electorate is no longer confident in the voting or electoral process in Zimbabwe , they always feel like if they vote then boom their vote is stolen, nothing is going to change if we vote, but we continue to encourage the youth and women to register to vote and also to show up on the election day.
ZD: Do you think in Zimbabwe we have free and fair elections?
MD : That one is aaa kikikkkikkik truly speaking l think you have had the nomination fees for the presidential candidates and other candidates from $1000 to $20000 thats undemocratic! It clearly shows that the political play field is not fair, its selective only for the elite, so we cannot say its free and fair. It should start with ZEC, they have no mandate to announce such high nomination fees. Personally, l feel that l am being deprived from exercising my Constitutional right to vote and also to be voted for.
ZD: Do you think having Polad is an advantage for political parties?
MD : Depends on which advantage but to myself or my party, a party which has a progressive mindset, l think Polad was or should l say, is a good move for us because its a place where we find common ground to discuss issues affecting our nation and come up with solutions.
ZD: What is your party’s position on gender representation and what challenges are you facing?
MD: We are trying by all means to ensure a fifty fifty representation in constituencies and wards. We are strict on the representation of women, we are engaging women in sports to participate in politics. l even launched a sports team in Goromonzi West under my name to just give women an opportunity to participate socially, economically and politically.
ZD: Do you think 50/50 is important at all decision making process in terms of development?
MB: l have seen women doing wonders. There is potential in women whenever they are given an opportunity , there will be balance of policies , a woman fits in at every situation, there are many spaces we have seen that are successful because of women and women are more responsible, its an advantage for a nation like Zimbabwe.
ZD : How do you intend to save Zimbabwe in your first year in office since you claim that you are the government in waiting?
MD : Zimbabwe is so much damaged, there are no jobs, we have economic challenges, but we are going to change everything. We are going to put new leadership, people who are focused. Effective leaders we have an assessment tool to check progress of our leaders are performing, we are going to do away with corruption , we are going to promote production , Zimbabwe is so rich, we have so much mineral resources but we are lacking real leaders like me we are going to put the eight people at the right positions, we also want to give the right people the land so that we have proper production .We will need student compatible gadgets so that children are safe from learning things via Internet. We will make Internet available even in rural areas .We will promote our law enforcement so that they work effectively, we will fully equip our workers so that they work without challenges.
ZD: Your last words
MD:As David we condemn violence at all cost. we need a space to contest freely. Political parties, let us spread the word of peace, we are a family. As Zimbabweans, there is life after an election, we are not fighting for our own stomachs but for every Zimbabwean. I encourage youth and women to register to vote for my party which will form the next government.