Politics has been in my DNA from day one. Growing up i was enthusiastic about politics but politics but i did notice that until more recently.
On the first episode was digging deeper into hardcore politics before i introduced myself.Today am going to you my story how i.became The Political Professor.
By Kumbirai Mutengo
Having grown in a political neighbourhood where the MDC was born.One of the founding fathers of MDC ,Fidelis Mhashu live lived three houses from mine and he is the one motivated me to be who I am today .He was brave.
Mhashu quit ZANU PF in 1997 as the movement for change was now igniting.He was a household name in Chitungwiza and became MP in the 2000 parliamentary. So as I was growing I could huge crowds that used to gather at his house.
I used to be known for blowing red ‘pitos’ and chanting ‘chinja maitiro’,that was 2001 and i was 3 years old.
Chinja maitiro was a sacred slogan to say those days because it could earn one a beating.At that tender age i did not know what i was saying .Many relatives of mine always tell how I was into chinja but i do not remember.
Living in the Mhashu area was difficult in the early 2000s. Mr Mhashu and his family were harassed and assaulted that led his family flee to the United Kingdom.It was scary those days.I remember one day , in front of our street there was a bush and ZANU thugs came for Mhashu, there was exchange of gun fire and the ZANU guys fired from the bus .The police had to come and fire teargas around the area.I remember running back into our home as i was playing our outside.Our maid had to lock all the doors and close the gas was too strong.She had to cover my nose with a towel because the situation was hectic.In those days l like Jonathan Moyo up to today he used appear a lot on news hour.Whenever he was on TV I used to say ,’Jonanat Moyo’ in a toddler’s language.
As i was growing ZANU thugs frequently visited Mhashu harassing him. I used to play with his son Dean Mhashu so i spent of my time at his house.Mr Mhashu should like the way i loved politics and to call me chinja.
I matured at a very tender age.I understood politics quite but i did not the mind to become a politician one day.
In 2008 the Mhashu area was not affected like other Chitungwiza areas.In Unit N and other places Zanu thugs would force people to go rallies moving door to door.By then i was 10 years old and Mhashu.
In 2009 when the new cabinet was appointed on 11 February i admired the new minister Nelson Chamisa .He was young and very confident.By the end of 2009 Econet introduced its internet package when Chamisa was the ICT minister.Later i had to consider Chamisa as my role model other than Mhashu. Why did i choose him over Mhashu? I admired how he had to achieve much at a younger age.
When I entered High School in 2012 was greeted with the name ‘professor,’ just because I wore spectacles.I argue a lot with my dominates about ZANU PF.There were not politically conscious as I was and we could spend hours and hours arguing. Sometimes I could argue against the whole dorm saying ZANU will not win the 2013 election.
One day in 2014 toward the MDC Congress I was arguing with my guys and we were making a lot of noise.I was explaining to my buddies about the Mr Chinake the Marondera High Senior master walked in around 11 pm. He said, “Iwe unoziva gukurahundi iwe.” That day I received a thorough beating.From that day when saw me he called me Gukurahundi.
By then I did not have any interest to join politics but in 2015 I found the reason to do.As l started my form four (2015) I said I must focus on what I want to do in life.
Firstly I knew I was good in history and I had a passion in the betterment of this country as ZANU was poorly governing.What I wanted was to offer my services to the people. At that time I did not worry that I will get money or not.What I wanted was an education ticket to go and study politics abroad for pre-varsity.
In April 2015 that is when I joined politics.How did o join? When I was doing my vacation I spent my lunch in Harare CBD. So I wanted by to know where was Harvest House.
Those days Mr Mhashu was no longer MP and had moved out of his old home.I tried to look for him but could not. Fortunately one day found where HH was. I stepped in but scared as it was my first.
Why did I look for HH? I had an idea to share with the MDC. I had a proposal for them .So when I entered the House I told the receptionist that can I see Nelson Chamisa or Mwonzora. Those were the names that I knew. Mwonzora became popular in the COPAC days.
Unfortunately I could not see anyone I thought it was that easy.The next day I went back at Harvest House and I said the same names but this time I mentioned Job Sikhala and he was parked at HH.
The receptionist went with me to his car and I was in Ndera uniform. He told Sikhala this boy has been coming here all week saying his proposal. Mr Sikhala gave me a chance to explain my proposal .
“Sir i am 17 years old I’m proposing a position called 2018 Election Youth Ambassador. The ambassador will be like a brand ambassador. This person must be a young person making short videos in the name MDC persuading the youth to vote MDC. The videos would be aired on social media.”This is the idea I had. Mr Sikhala was amazed and told the receptionist to lead me to Bvondo’s office.
Happymore Chidziva liked the idea but never implemented it.So from then I was in touch with Bvondo. In August I met Mr Mhashu’s successor Hon Godfrey Sithole .
During that same month Mr Tsvangirai was coming to Chitungwiza and told Hon I was going to make a speech for MT.I thought it was easy to be given a space at a very big event.
Unfortunately i was denied time but I had to see Tsvangirai and Chamisa. That was enough for me. Tsvangirai was very strong and I remember his worlds,”Action then Election.”
Late 2015 I started with Chamisa via phone. Why? Since that speech I did not do it in front of the masses I wanted it in the papers.
I spent a lot of time looking for journalists trying to make it appear in papers. Chamisa was willing to help but as a busy man he could not find time.
In May 2016 during the #Occupy Africa days i contacted Bvondo to talk about the videos and the youth ambassador thing time was running out there was need to get more support for then. By then i was in form 5.
We met that day at Africa unity square as Patson Dzamara was leading the protest. I saw Lumumba for the first time.He was the man of the moment because of the way he attacked Zhuwao in public.
We discussed nothing about the ambassador issue but I had to meet a lot of people that I now know today.
Fortunately in January 2018 the article found its way in The Statesman newspaper.
Back around June 2016 I decided to start a campaign since the youth ambassador idea was not be given consideration. The name of the campaign was First Choice Movement Campaign. I told Bvondo the idea but to my surprise after a week later the MDC Youth Assembly launched My Zimbabwe Campaign . I do not understand what was going on. Bvondo had never told me they were preparing a campaign or it was done in a week.
My next fight was to demonstrate against the national pledge.So informed some guys and planned a demo at Ambassador House slated for 4 August 2016.I had told also my MDC guys.
So on the day I went with notification to ZRP law and order section little did I know it needs at least 7 days for it to sail through.It was turned down and officers were shocked to hear my age (18) and tried to frighten me. One officer said “The demo you want is like no to Mugabe so i am going to call him now.” I became scared but I told him if that can make my heard call him.The officer told me i was young i would die for nothing and would either miss my A level exam or my scripts would be removed and would not have any results. So i listened his advice and walked out of Charge Office, Harare Central Police Station with my letter to the Harare commanding officer.
My MDC guys had enlightened me about the processes so decided to start a youth movement called First Choice Movement in that same August. I decided to part ways with MDC and try buy into divergent views. Make a movement that champions all ideas and give the youth the platform to express themselves.
So I had a 21 point plan and a Financial Empowerment Plan .I wrote a document that and some notes to NERA. My next move was to engage with the NERA chairperson Mr Joelson Mugari. I wanted to register FCM with NERA. Mr Mugari adviced me to make it a civil organization but up to today we did not manage to register with NERA.
As a professor I tolerate other people’s views.I grew up with the MDC ideology but what I realized we had no vision after Mugabe had gone.That is why also I introduced a new vision First Choice Movement that has the solution to our problems. The solutions are the 21 point plan and the Financial Empowerment Plan. It is the extension of the MDC vision since the idea was to chinja maitiro but now is what we do when we change our. My MDC cadres did not understand where I was coming from and that I was running a parallel movement.I hope MDC had understood me.
On 19 December 2016 I managed to meet Chamisa at his Chambers. You can image when one can share his vision with his role model. It was a wonderful meeting. He said the document I had brought him was good but did not object anything. He was charmed by the professor tittle that was one the document. After the meeting was over he prayed for me and the idea to be success.This day I will never forget because most of you have not met your role models.
I do not agree with everything that MDC does but i agree with some. I do not hero worship my model that is why relate with different views. The Professor has the youth at heart especially those who are not academics who do not know their rights.
Kumbirai Mutero writes in his own capacity and can be contacted on: Twitter @KumbiraiMutengo
Staff Reporter 3969 posts 1 comments
263Chat is a Zimbabwean media organisation focused on encouraging & participating in progressive national dialogue