Labour Economist Afrikan Democrats (LEAD) president Linda Masarira says her intentions to join POLAD are not about getting a free car but are driven by peoples’ issues.
In an interview, Masarira said she has got her own cars already but just want a platform to table issues affecting people and have them addressed.
She said POLAD is currently the only platform offering the opportunity and given a chance she will join.
‘’I realised that is the only platform where I can table the real issues affecting the voiceless and have them addressed. Antagonism will never fix the problems bedevilling ordinary people like me and you.
‘’I have three cars, a Toyota Allion, a D4D and a T35, surely, I can’t be enticed by an Isuzu DMax. Anyway, people being people they will always have something to say,’’ she said.
Masarira added that her party (LEAD), is hinged on the notion of ‘’united we stand divided we fall’’ and that she believes all other political parties also have a vision for a progressive Zimbabwe.
‘’As a party that is concerned about the growth of the ordinary person at the grassroots, we feel it is important for us to be part of POLAD so that we go and represent the voiceless, whose voices have never been heard.
‘’For a long time, we have had political parties attaining seats in Parliament and moving their political agenda and not the agenda of the ordinary person in the streets. We have had people going into the council pushing their political party agendas ahead of what the ordinary person who voted for them wants.
‘’So as for us LEAD, a social democratic party, which is hinged on pan Africanism we feel that it is important to also have a seat on the polad table so that we go and share ideas on how to develop the ordinary person and to ensure that every Zimbabwean has got an opportunity to create wealth and to live a decent life in this our beautiful country Zimbabwe. And as you have asked and rightfully asked, given the opportunity to go and sit and share our ideas for sustainable livelihood in Zimbabwe we will definitely join POLAD,’’ she said.
Below is the full text of what Linda Masarira said about POLAD and its achievement and what she is expecting it to achieve.
Achievement of POLAD
‘’I am not privy as a political party leader of what POLAD has achieved so far mainly because they haven’t spoken much about their achievements. But we have seen time and again Professor Madhuku and Innocent Netanyahu pointing out that they have been engagements between them and some ministries and that they have also been engaging in electoral reforms, but I don’t think I am the right person to be responding to what they have achieved as I am not part of POLAD.
‘’But what I basically think and LEAD in general it is important for all political leaders to put their minds together for the development of this country. As LEAD we have been clear on the four Ds, that push the existence of LEAD, which are mainly Development, Devolution of power, Decolonisation of the mindsets and Depolarisation of our political economy.
‘’For 20 so years Zimbabwe has been a highly toxic and volatile political environment which has led to unnecessary political violence. Yet politics is supposed to unite us in our diversity to be able to develop our country. Having a different political ideology does not mean enmity and antagonism does not work has never worked and it will never work.
‘’So, it is important for all progressive political parties to be able to have a seat on the table with the head of state of this country giving him the ideas on how to make life comfortable for ordinary Zimbabweans. What I hopefully pray POLAD can achieve in the future is to ensure constitutionalism, alignment of laws of Zimbabwe with the constitution because it is the supreme law of this land.
‘’We need political reforms, and I know that POLAD has already started engaging and they have had several meetings on electoral reforms with ZESN and other electoral bodies in Zimbabwe.
‘’We need to also deal with the issue of rule of law, security sector reform, I spoke about devolution, enforcement of human rights, youth, people with disability and women empowerment and it is very important for POLAD to put those issues at the core of their business when they are dialoguing.
‘’POLAD also needs to be able to deal with key economic issues and we hope that they will successfully implement laws that will curb corruption, in all government sectors, in private sectors and all parastatals so that the economic vision stipulated in NDS1 will be successful. We need to revive our industries in Zimbabwe and polad has to put that as one of their top priorities and also on how to deal with inflation and black market and ensure inclusivity in land allocation so that we will be able to utilise our land to create wealth for Zimbabweans and to also ensure that Zimbabwe becomes food secure.
‘’It is also important for POLAD to identify the quick win revenue streams in our country. Identify special economic zones that will primarily work to ensure that we stabilise our economy in this country.
‘’It’s also important for POLAD to have a committee that deals on labour issues to ensure that our civil servants have decent salaries so that they are not prone to corrupt and unethical conduct whilst they are executing their duties at work, and it is important for POLAD to ensure that they push for accountability and transparency in a lot of things.
‘’The issue to do with reengagement I know they are already working on that, we need POLAD to work tirelessly on national healing, reparation for victims of violence, eradication of violence and to have strong laws to deal with drug pandemic we have in Zimbabwe and the restoration of our own African values which are mainly ubuntu.
‘’One thing a lot of people have not spoken about which is important in this country is priority investment in youths. We need to prioritise investment in youth development. Zimbabwe should give full support to youth to realise their full potential in all spheres. Including education, social and economic affairs in politics, we have very few young people in politics, and it is important for POLAD to also have a youth structure where young people will be mentored to achieve the best of their ability when it comes to politics.
‘’We believe as LEAD, the very character of our nation is shown by the recognition that we will give to our youth, as the backbone and future of our country. So, it is important for POLAD to prioritise youth investment. Prioritise mentoring young people, guarantee opportunities for young people to access technology and skills and empower young people to become masters of their own destiny and to ensure gender justice and gender balance because gender justice is a cornerstone of who we are.
‘’Once POLAD recognises the historical marginalisation of women we will create a non-sexist society which will be underlined by equal rights and opportunities and affirmative action for women including political participation and access to resources.
‘’So, these are the very few that I thought about which are important which POLAD should achieve over and above labour justice and the equitable and sustainable governance of our natural resources and environment,’’ she said.