BULAWAYO – A new political party which is a breakaway from Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn has emerged in the City of Kings and calls itself Democratic Opposition Party Zimbabwe.
Its leader Harry Wilson says he broke away from Makoni because he had realised that Makoni was still somehow attached to his former party Zanu PF.
Our Bulawayo correspondent Jeffrey Muvundusi last week spoke to Wilson and below are extracts from the interview.
Q: You say Makoni appears as though he is still Zanu PF, why do you say so?
A: I say so given his background in Zanu PF where he was a youthful supporter and naturally had been indoctrinated by the party. He was a young and intelligent cadre of Zanu PF who out of frustration quit Zanu PF to form his own party Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn.
When I joined him I thought we had a clear agenda but with time I realised we were wasting time as they were no clear-cut policies. I thought of it hard and realised that it was time to move on and form my own party which would have an agenda.
Q: What are you promising the electorate?
A: We are promising jobs, health care, education, good service delivery in our cities and rural areas, upholding the rule of law and offering security to our citizens.
We want to champion the interests of all the people of Zimbabwe we will work together for the people regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or political affliction. Together we can build a better future for ourselves and nobody should be left behind.
We are a Christian democratic country guided by the principles of love, peace, transparent and accountable government which respects the rule of law and property.
As a party we will combat corruption and promote a modern economy and introduce good foreign policies and engage the international community.
Q: But why are you coming up with a new political party at a time there are already more than 40 political parties?
A: I feel the time is right with the exit of Robert Mugabe who had plunged the country into deep uncertainty. It looks very ambitious but the need for a better future for all Zimbabweans and future generations necessitated the idea to step up and challenge for the presidency.
Q: Opposition parties have mooted a coalition to try and remove Zanu PF from power, are you part of it?
A: My party's policy in relation to the coalition despite having signed a pact in Harare is that I am not convinced with the MDC’s commitment to the coalition. The Alliance has not shown any clear ideology that speaks about change or the improvement of Zimbabweans’ livelihood.
The issue is not about coming up with one coalition for the opposition parties but it is about the nature, structure, strength, and potential to deliver a victory in 2018.
To achieve this, the Alliance must have an all-people's agenda, reconcile ideology differences, establish a winning team, ensure leadership cohesion, develop a superior message and secure adequate funding. Its post-election agenda and structure must be clearly defined taking into account a possible win or lose in 2018.
Q: There is a new political dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Do you think he is a capable leader to pluck out Zimbabwe from its decades of collapse?
A: No, frankly speaking let’s call a spade a spade. Mnangagwa and Mugabe have been friends for more than 50 years had it not been for Grace Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo who spoiled everything for the two.
But you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. His policies are still Zanu PF; hence people should not be excited about his policies which still reflect Zanu PF.
And Mnangagwa seems to be consolidating his power by awarding key military generals who supported his rise to power. He has appointed them to important Cabinet positions and his selective arrests are very suspicious
Q: As DOP president are you running for presidency in the coming elections?
A: The events leading to the outcome of the new dispensation were divine intervention and a blessing in disguise for us as new leaders. I have no doubt in my mind that Zimbabweans are fed up with old faces in our politics and Harry Peter Wilson is the new guy in town. Yes, I will stand for the presidency.
Q: And what do you promise Zimbabweans?
A: Peace and prosperity. As a government we will see to it that factories and industries are up and running. We have to be free, free from poverty and disease. We will respect the Constitution and uphold human rights. We will adhere to all international treaties that are meant to bring peace and prosperity to the country. We will also engage the international world who will be our biggest economic partner.
Q: Do you have any structures across Zimbabwe?
A: As a national party we have to have structures from executive cascading down to the branches and we are happy with the progress along those lines thus far.
Q: Who is Harry Peter Wilson?
A: I was born on 1st September 1959, I am a Zimbabwean citizen born of a mixed race and I grew up in Phelandaba here in Bulawayo at my grandmother's house who is Chief Kayisa Ndiweni. The late father Zimbabwe the late Joshua Nkomo’s house was just a stone’s throw away from my grandmother's home.
I hold a degree as a mechanical engineer installation and maintenance and did international law and politics. I am a business man and my hobbies are going to church, fishing, swimming, football and watching gospel on television.
I believe that everything that is good comes from God the almighty and that wisdom comes from God hence the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.