I am a fierce contender; I believe it, and my gender has little to no effect on what I have set my mind on. I am a leader, when I stand in the political race, I am capable, I am there to represent people, and nothing can deter me from that,” said Linda Chinamano. This statement is typical of the 26-year-old, who defies expectations and challenges women to take up leadership roles without fear or doubt.
Chinamano is the ZANU-PF aspiring Member of Parliament (MP) for Entumbane-Njube. Apart from being one of the youngest MPs in the party, she is also one of the two nominated female MP candidates representing ZANU-PF out of 12 parliamentary seats in Bulawayo province.
She has also held different positions in the party currently, she serves as the national executive member of the ZANU-PF youth league and as the national deputy secretary for transport and welfare.
There is no denying that her ambition, intelligence, and tenacity have helped her forge a momentous path.
“Competing with men has never been an easy task; one has to go to extra lengths in trying to prove themselves. My contenders met a strong woman who does not give up easily. I faced discrimination for being a woman and being young. I had to overcome that by consistently bringing possible and practical solutions to the problems that resonated with people,” said Chinamano.
She said she was popular in her community because she was very active and because her ideologies set her apart from other contenders.
“The strength of a politician is her relationship with her community. I am visible, and I make myself available and engage with people in my community. Apart from having grown in the community throughout my life, my political ambitions, ideologies, and views make me stand out and gain more popularity. I am also happy that times have evolved and people are starting to warm up to women’s leadership in politics,” said Chinamano.
When asked what inspired her to run for the MP candidacy, Chinamano said:
“I drew inspiration to run for the M.P. candidacy from the realization that our people are being left out in developmental programs and projects; the poor continue to be poorer with no immediate intervention; high levels of youth unemployment; growing drug and substance abuse; no housing for our people; poor roads and infrastructure. All these factors were a driving force for me to contest, and I hope to bring about the change that our people need.”
Under her leadership, Chinamano said people would be at the forefront, and she would bring about noticeable changes in the lives of ordinary community members.
“I want to solve the daily struggles people face. I have never sought self-gratification or self-glory; I embarked on this journey to provide servant and honest leadership. Above all, it’s not about me but about the people that I have willingly chosen to serve,” she said.
Chinamano also said she looked forward to growing and assuming bigger roles within the ZANU-PF party structures.
“I will also remain loyal to the vision and mission of ZANU-PF and work hard towards contributing to the attainment of Vision 2030 of an empowered and prosperous Zimbabwe. I also hope to keep rising.
Written by: Loraine Phiri