POPULAR fashion designer James Pande has broken his silence on political issues and waded into the current national conversation during a live broadcast on his Facebook account urging Econet boss Strive Masiyiwa to break the current post-election political impasse between Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance by uniting their two leaders President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa respectively.
BY ALBERT MASAKA
Pande, who had said he was retiring from politics citing the abuse of youths by politicians, told The Standard Style in an interview on Wednesday that as a youth empowerment leader he was finding it difficult to cut his umblical cord with politics as he was under pressure from his constituency to air their grievances on their continued marginalisation in the economic development of the country.
He is the leader of the Zanu PF-aligned youth empowerment pressure group Zimbabwe Entrepreneurs Youth Action.
During the live broadcast, Pande said to Masiyiwa: “I appeal to you as our most prominent businessman, don’t be too late, address these issues before they get worse. You are capable of uniting Mnangagwa and Chamisa and also work with them to take this country out of its mess,”
He also took a swipe at some people within the war veterans association leadership who were abusing their roles in the liberation war to fatten their pockets through abuse of power.
“I would want to also warn those people who claim to be more Zimbabwean than anyone else,” he said.
“While we appreciate the role played by those who liberated our country, they should no continue to do wrong things abusing their role as freedom fighters. The people are going to resist them.
“Young people are saying you are too quiet whilst a lot of things are happening in the country, whilst a lot of people are taking advantage of the young people in Zimbabwe, while a lot of people are acting as owners of this country, the owners of our heritage, that is not right.”
Pande also implored Mnangagwa to act decisively against corruption in high offices and send the culprits to jail.
“It’s almost a year now but no one has been jailed. Is it because of corruption at the courts? It is time you should hit the podium and speak out,” he said.
Last year Pande unveiled two trendy fashion labels — Kutonga Kwaro Gamba and Magamba #Hatirare — in honour of Mnangagwa and vice-president Constantino Chiwenga and all Zimbabweans who threw their weight behind the campaign to remove the then president Robert Mugabe from power motivated by the hit song, Kutonga Kwaro by Jah Prayzah.
In 2016, Pande launched a range of trendy products under the RGM92 label, including the Hovhorosi style, featuring the then 92-year-old Mugabe’s initials and age as a tribute to the former head of state.