Fadzai Mahere yesterday announced she will be running for the Mount Pleasant Member of Parliament seat in the 2018 Zimbabwe elections.
The young female lawyer who will be running as an independent candidate, rose to advocacy fame in June 2016 when she opposed the introduction of bond notes by the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank as unconstitutional, says it is clear to her that the future of Zimbabwe cannot be built from the sidelines.
“It is time for a new generation of public servants to arise. A generation that understands that leadership means service, not a privilege,” she said.
Mahere is part of a new crop of young voices in Zimbabwean politics who have been arrested for calling for change and reforms in government and the first in this circle of new-generation political activists to put her name forward in the race for public office.
In her speech announcing her candidature for the Mount Pleasant seat, she scolded current parliamentarians for sleeping on the job and failing to represent the best interests of their constituents.
“There are reports of parliamentarians who spend an entire year without speaking. How can you represent the concerns of the citizens if you never stand up to be counted?” she asked.
However, her announcement to run for public office has been met with mixed feelings by Zimbabweans on social media. While friends and followers were sending congratulatory and support messages, a number of people questioned her allegiance citing that her father, Stephen Mahere, is a senior ZANU PF member.
A message written by Sa Muchuwe on Facebook reads, “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Fadzai Mahere for her bold step towards putting forward her name for parliament I’m on my way too. No one or no party has an entitlement to be opposition.”
A fellow lawyer and Mount Pleasant resident who preferred anonymity questioned her integrity citing that in law circles Mahere is widely held to be full of hot air.
“She has misinterpreted the law often when addressing the citizenry and defamed members of the fraternity where she could have exposed issues in a more intelligent way and with proof.” the resident said.
Others questioned why she has chosen not to join the many opposition parties vying for parliamentary seats and called for opposition political parties to introspect on why young emerging political voices are choosing to go independent instead of banding with them.
@Baekithemba a Zimbabwean on Twitter wrote, “MDC-T as a ‘social democratic party’ should self-introspect why progressives like Fadzai Mahere & Nkosana Moyo don’t see a home in them.”
Fadzayi is a practising lawyer specialising in constitutional law, human rights law and administrative law. She has worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in the Hague and for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.