HARARE – After serving as city father in Harare for over seven years, Lisbon Marufu (LM) is now aiming higher and has set his eyes on being elected as one of the 210 lawmakers come July 31 representing Zanu PF in Zengeza West Constituency.
In a bid to understand what vision he has for the impoverished town of Chitungwiza, Daily News Xolisani Ncube (XN) caught up with the aspiring lawmaker to get an insight into his dream for Zengeza. Below are the excerpts from the interview.
XN: What drove you into politics?
LM: I have served the people of Harare for seven years and I think it is time I make a big contribution to the developmental agenda of Chitungwiza through law making.
I was pushed by the desire to see a revival of service delivery here. Service delivery is dead in this town.
Councillors and the legislator for this area looted public resources. The previous team did nothing for the people in general and the community of Zengeza in particular. I want to see social delivery and the improvement of life in general through self-sustainability.
XN: How do you intend to achieve this?
LM: This is a national approach. My party Zanu PF has a national response to that.
We are looking at ways to better develop the wellbeing of our people through empowering them. We have to create employment so that people are able to pay for social delivery and ensure that their families are fed well.
Here in Chitungwiza, unemployment is one of the key drivers to failure of social delivery. We have to create jobs through self-serving projects and resuscitation of closed industries. We have to improve our road infrastructure so that new investment is attracted and improve water supply so that we reduce the cases of water borne diseases in this area.
XN: All this requires huge funding, how do you intend to achieve them as an individual MP?
LM: As I said this will be done collectively and involves the MP and councillor as well as government. We are going to utilise the youth fund which is available under the indigenisation programme to empower our youths with jobs.
I have asked a number of them (youths) if they know anything about the youth fund; no one has the knowledge about it.
As Zanu PF government we are going to ensure that all our youths and even those who are from other parties benefit.
We want them to have self-sufficient projects that can transform their lives.
We are also targeting women empowerment.
We want those women to start projects that can generate revenue for themselves and take care of their families.
XN: You have mentioned water challenges here, what is your solution to the problem?
LM: I think the water issue will be the top agenda for the Zanu PF government here; Chitungwiza gets water once a week.
This is very dangerous and should not be tolerated to continue as it exposes the people to cholera and other diseases.
The greatest challenge that we have regarding water is that Chitungwiza is failing to get its portion from Harare due to debts.
This is also being caused by a fact that Chitungwiza is not collecting enough revenue from its people who are unemployed.
We have to find our own water source as Chitungwiza and stop relaying on Harare.
I think that a Zanu PF government will be able to negotiate for a water deal between Harare and Chitungwiza so that Prince Edward Dam is reserved for us here and services Chitungwiza only.
This is the only way to go. With the experience that I have gained while as a councillor, I believe it is time Chitungwiza is given its water source to manage.
But this is possible if they have a source of income which as Zanu PF we believe is through empowerment and job creation.
XN: Who is Lisbon Marufu?
LM: Lisbon Mutizwa Marufu goes a long way; I did my schooling here in Chitungwiza. I completed my secondary school around 1982 there abouts, and I then did my apprenticeship in electrical engineering and then I moved on to sales before I started my own business in 1992.
My political career goes back to 1994 when I tried to stand to as a councillor but I failed as I lost in elections.
I did not tire but continued to soldier on as a cadre in Zanu PF; I remained politically active in this constituency and the country in general.
I was appointed as a commissioner in Harare City Council in 2007 after the removal of the Sekesai Makwavarara team. During the impasse of the 2008 election, I was again appointed to be the care taker council together with other commissioners.
After the swearing in of the councillors in 2008, I was also appointed to be a special interest councillor for Harare representing my party Zanu PF.
I have now decided to go higher than being a councillor and make national contributions.
XN: Looking at the problem of jobs, what policy will you be driving when you get into Parliament to ensure that jobs are created as well as the economy is revamped?
LM: Indigenisation is the party’s main policy that is directing us. We as Zanu PF want to create employment by empowering our people and this will ensure that we take total control of our economy.
Secondly, I will push for the resuscitation of closed industries here in Chitungwiza to ensure that youths can get back to work and start making a normal living.
But the greatest employment creation policy is indigenisation which is a double-faced programme; it creates jobs and empowers the nation at the same time.
XN: Looking at your competitors in this election, how do you measure your chances?
LM: I put it at around 90 percent; I say so because the MDC has failed to deliver in the past.
They depended on looting public resources; councillors here became rich through looting of stands and selling any open space available in their wards.
The MDC MP cannot even tell the constituency how he used the Constituency Development Fund; everyone is asking how did he use that money? So everyone here is fed up with the MDC.
They all want Zanu PF to govern them. We are a tried and tested party which has delivered in terms of social development but the MDC has failed not even to build one single public toilet.
I say 90 percent because I know that the people want good living and not poor service delivery which the MDC gave them.
We are working round the clock to ensure that we return back this seat to Zanu PF and burry the MDC forever.
XN: Why do you say that it is a walk over for you considering that this is an MDC dominated area?
LM: Who said that it is an MDC dominated area?
Gone are the days that people would vote for MDC because they live in town ? people are voting on basis of what they see and have experienced.
The MDC will not get even a seat here in Zengeza. The people are now educated and understand the meaning of their plight at the hands of the MDC councillors and MP.
XN: What do you say to the people of Zengeza and Chitungwiza in general?
LM: Let us go out in our full number and vote for President Robert Mugabe, a Zanu PF MP and a Zanu PF councillor on July 31.
You have tested this regime which is not one of ours, it is time were voted them out and ensured that a Zanu PF government is in place to revive our economy and gives us our ownership through indigenisation.