FM: What issues affected you the most during your previous term?
SM: There were many but the most prominent was the unequal distribution of our major resource, the diamonds. I was also saddened by the manner in which the relocation of families from the mining fields was done. People were moved from big plots of land to much smaller plots while some are still landless. In Parliament there was a lot of debate but there were policy inconsistencies to such an extent that whatever Parliament passed was not enforced. At times the role of the legislature on policy issues was not clear. The issue of Chiadzwa was very contentious.
What was important was to ensure that people were well represented to guarantee that diamond resources were equitably shared. We had to push for local people to be employed and that roads and clinics were built using the new resources. There was a lot of protection of diamond mining companies by the executive arm of government, to the extent that as a parliamentarian you could not do anything. One of the things we set out to do was to account for the diamonds being produced – to know where they were going and to ensure that money was deposited with the government. The fact that I was an MDC MP from a diamond rich constituency meant that a lot of animosity was directed at me.
FM: If re-elected what would you do that you could not do before?
SM: Firstly I would take advantage of the new constitution which defines the role of an MP better than the previous one. Companies operating in Marange must be made to focus on developmental initiatives. The new constitution provides for devolution of power and I will be able to sit in the Provincial Council and this will help us channel our resources for the development of Marange. Banks and other business should take advantage of the boon in Marange. Job creation will be at the focal point of my new term. I will push for youth participation in the economic affairs.
There is a sea of poverty in Marange. There is an elite group of people who are within Zanu (PF) who are benefiting from our diamonds, and that must stop.
FM: There are widespread reports of factionalism within your party in Manicaland.
SM: That is Zanu (PF) propaganda. In Manicaland we are very united and we are taking all the 26 seats in the province. Of course in any organisation there will be one or two individuals bent on causing problems, but this will not distract us.
FM: What is your message to the voters in your constituency?
SM: Our diamonds are being taken to India and to China by a few individuals within Zanu (PF). The only way to stop this is to make sure Zanu (PF) is removed totally from the scene. We want redress of the diamond issue in Zimbabwe that is the issue we are going to be fighting for. Only those connected to Zanu (PF) are benefiting at the expense of the community of Marange. Recently we also noticed that the Marange chief and a few selected headmen have benefited from new houses constructed by the companies in, as yet, unclear circumstances. We are saying you are building good houses for a few in a sea of poverty we need the community to benefit as well from that.
Born 1958 in Marange. Joined the Zimbabwe Unity Movement under Edgar Tekere at its formation, defecting from Zanu (PF). Joined MDC at its formation in 1999. Was chairman in ward 18 and then district secretary. Currently vice chairman for Manicaland province.
Holds a degree in Computer Science from University of Liverpool, MBA from Brunel University (United Kingdom). Worked at the former Posts and Telecommunications Company from computer programmer to Director of Information Technology. 1999 to 2005 – Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Head of Information Technology.Post published in: News