HARARE – Former State radio and TV personality Eric Knight, who is eyeing the Mbare Constituency, has fired warning shots, launching an election manifesto that could change the outlook of Harare’s oldest suburb.
Knight wants to represent Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC in watershed elections expected later this year.
He claims to have been hounded out of his job at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBC) by then minister of Information and Publicity Jonathan Moyo because of his MDC connections, and is now promising to change the face one of Harare’s poorest suburb as well as tame Zanu PF-aligned vigilante group Chipangano.
“ As a resident, I am driven by the passion to make my area a better place to live in by facilitating the refurbishment of existing structures as well as construction of new flats because as it is the conditions in Mbare are appalling.
“We have a situation whereby 15 people live in one room and there is no running water yet we concentrate on violence. We need to put in place mechanisms that ensure people co-exist in harmony without having to run away from Chipangano all the time,” said Knight while addressing close to 200 Mbare residents at Harvest House in Harare at the weekend.
The former DJ said he would use his connections in the Diaspora to mobilise resources for self-help projects that empower youths in the constituency in a nonpartisan manner.
“People in Mbare are economically active but they need support that ensures systematic nonpartisan allocation of tables at the market. I will use my connections with the outside world to ensure young people are assisted in doing relevant courses to run the projects.
Knight’s election manifesto comes at a time when he and other party cadres who have shown interest in representing the party in the forthcoming elections have been ridiculed by the party rank and file for “hijacking” the democratic struggle at the last minute.
But Knight has dismissed the allegations as machinations of people sent by Zanu PF to sow seeds of hatred in his party.
“It is a known fact that I was fired at the ZBC because of my connections to the MDC. At its formation in 1999 I used to hold meetings with the likes of the late Learnmore Jongwe and when my employers got the news I started receiving threats before I was fired.
“What many people including some in my party fail to understand is that the struggle has several stages and can be fought from various angles. We cannot all be throwing stones certainly,” he said.
However, Knight will have to battle it out against senior party members who include former legislator Tichaona Munyanyi, councillor Friday Muleya and activist Stan Zvorwadza.
He joins a number of former media personalities who have declared their interest to represent MDC in this year’s parliamentary elections who include Grace Kwinjeh, Ezra Sibanda and James Maridadi. – Mugove Tafirenyika