Cde David Musabayana (DM) this week romped to victory in zanu-pf primary elections for Hwedza North constituency, which fell vacant following the death of Cde Simon Musanhi in January. He defeated seven other candidates. Our Political Editor Tichaona Zindoga (TZ) caught up with the man shortly after the announcement of the results in the early hours of Thursday.
TZ: Congratulations for winning the election. Could you tell us who David Musabayana is?
DM: I am a farmer and an economist by profession. I did Charted Institute of Management Accountancy and have an MBA from Nottingham Trent University. Being a committed farmer, I also give back to the community through leading farmer organisations like the Provincial Show Society of the Mashonaland East Province.
At one point I was the provincial chairperson of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union. I also do a lot of sponsorships for the youth in terms of sport.
I was born on 27 June 1971 in Mutare where I did my primary and secondary education.
I proceeded to university and did a degree in economics. In 1994 I got a job with the Institute of Mining Research as a research assistant and supervised a research that was done in Mazowe titled, “The social economic and environmental impact of alluvial gold panning along the Mazowe River”.
After that I worked at the Institute of Mining Research as an assistant mineral economist as I waited for my final year results.
When I got the results I got a job at the Rainbow Tourism Group where I worked as an assistant accountant at Kadoma Ranch Hotel and later went to Rhodes Nyanga Hotel where I worked as an accountant and also worked at Harare International Conference Centre in the same capacity.
I was then promoted to corporate accountant at the newly formed corporate office for Rainbow Tourism Group in 1998. End of 1999 I took a voluntary retirement package and in 2000 I was employed at Econet Wireless as a financial analyst up to 2002 when I resigned to start farming and start a bakery business.
TZ: And your history in the party. How long have you worked for the party?
DM: I joined the party in 1994 when I was still a student at the University of Zimbabwe. In 2006 I became a branch chairman at Scollar Farm here in Hwedza. In 2008 I became the secretary for transport and social welfare in the Mutemwa Branch and currently I am in the interim committee for the district in terms of restructuring that is going on in the Mutemwa Branch.
TZ: You are just emerging victorious from a tight race. How did you assess the field and the candidates that you were up against and what was the key to your win?
DM: We had different people who were participating. We had an engineer, a former senior police officer with massive experience even in the party and several other participants who were very good in presenting themselves to the people. However, I think for a change people really want to hear issues to do with development and transformation of society.
They want to hear issues to do with their bread and butter. So I really had a cutting edge in terms of having a manifesto, posters and pamphlets that we were giving to the electorate.
We even had CDs that we were giving to the electorate and that helped in making a difference in terms of the product that were are offering.
The strategy itself was well differentiated but above all I want to thank The Almighty for granting me this favour to be servant of the people.
TZ: Now that you have won this primary election and in a good stead to win the May 5 election, what are you promising the electorate?
DM: My first port of call is to come up with a calendar for the whole constituency where I do visits to all wards in the constituency.
I have realised during the campaigns that there are certain issues or problems in the society or the community that are minor but really sticky because nobody has been attending to them, particularly the issue of water.
Most people are drinking water from unprotected wells which will expose them to water borne diseases. We also have issues to do with drought this year.
The rains haven’t been very good and there is an impeding drought in the constituency and we want to see how we can partner with the council, the Government and GMB and whoever is willing to assist in providing food.
We have to feed the people and avert hunger.
TZ: The youth particularly have been the backbone of your support. What is your plan for the young people of Hwedza?
DM: I have great plans for the youth of Hwedza. I really thank them because they really respect me and I have been working with them well as I have been sponsoring their social and competitive soccer.
Right now I have to come up with more projects. I hope the Government will be very accommodative and play a complementary role. I have projects to do with fish farming and fish harvesting in our dams.
We want to try and organise and lobby for fishing permits in the dams and streams around the Hwedza Constituency so that the youth can harvest fish and we store the fish, package and sell to the available markets.
We also have plans to come up with groups that get permits to do gold panning in the Nyamidzi and Save Rivers and Hwedza Mountain.
I also have plans for projects to do with contract farming and will involve youths in the repair of roads so that some of the roads can be repaired and the youth get something to improve their lives.
TZ: Government has the Zim-Asset blueprint in place. How do you think your constituency can contribute towards the fulfilment of the Zim-Asset programme?DM: Some of the projects that I have mentioned already are part of that implementation of Zim-Asset in contributing towards economic growth and sustainable socio-economic development.
Jobs are critical and we want to make sure locals get jobs from projects and activities that happen in the area, for example if Zesa is clearing bushes along power lines we don’t have to have people from outside the constituency coming to do those jobs.
We employ our youth to clear power lines within our district so that the community will have income flowing in and when this income flows in it will start to circulate within the constituency and through the multiplier effect you will see real transformation in terms of the wellbeing of the people.
We also have basic projects like cutting of grass so that we make grass for thatching. Those simple projects can actually make a lot of difference. We also have Imire Game Park within our constituency.
I will encourage the setting up of cultural groups, cultural performance groups which will be incorporated in the existing tourist activity. These performances will bring income to the youth.
We also encourage them to partner with the owners of Imire Game Park.
Once they do that we can have chalets around the game park so that when there is an overflow of tourists they can always go and stay in the chalets and lodges owned by the youth.
They can also get training in terms of photography and painting and sell to tourists when they come to these communities. Those are some of the projects we can easily do which do not require a lot of capital to implement or for them to take shape.
TZ: You are one step away from the actual election. How do you fancy your chances?
DM: We will deliver a resounding victory. We have a lot of other campaign tricks that we will unleash against any form of resistance or opposition in the constituency.
So we can’t pre-empt and say the strategies we will employ lest the enemy takes heed.
We promise it will be a great election and promise to deliver huge volumes of votes for the party and we promise it will be a very peaceful and professional election.