By Portia Sigauke
His journey to stardom started in the early 1990s when he became a radio presenter and producer for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s then Radio Three FM, now Power Fm.
Popularly known as ‘J-Touch’ Maridadi hosted musical shows, news interviews as well hosting talk shows which created a political animal in him.
James Maridadi was born on 1 November 1967 in a family of six. He is married to Sarah Lifa and the coupled was blessed with six children.
Education and Political career
James Maridadi attended Mabvuku Secondary School for his O level Education then attended Churchill Boys High for his A level studies. He is a PhD in Public Management graduate with Leeds Metropolitan University.
James Maridadi joined the Movement for Democratic Change in 2009 and served as the then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson and later Director of Protocol. While working in the PM’s office became more interested in politics which led him to contest during the July 31 2013 general election for the Mabvuku-Tafara parliamentary seat and he won.
Challenges faced by Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency
Mabvuku-Tafara is situated 17 km east of Harare with more than 100 000 population. The constituency is known for its perennial water problems prompting the Harare City Council to erect boreholes as it was struggling to supply running water to the residents.
The area has been struggling with the growing crisis of unemployment leading to the birth of numerous crimes being committed in the dusty constituency.
It is no secret that in Mabvuku is one of the few constituency that has the most damaged roads with potholes all over the roads with motorists complaining that their vehicle were being damaged by these roads. Child prostitution and teenage pregnancies has been on the increase owing to lack of running water as most young girls are sent to wait on long queues at boreholes during odd hours leading to older men and boys to taking advantage of them.
Uncollected cabbage characterize Mabvuku-Tafara constituency as residents had resorted to throwing their litter along roads and bushy areas.
Popularly known as the ‘J-Touch’ in the broadcasting industry in Parliament, they jokingly refer to him as Mr DJ. James Maridadi is one face not to miss in Parliament coupled by active participation as he always questions Ministers exposing their hypocrisy of blaming the poor performance of the economy on sanctions whilst they like products from the diaspora.
Election promises and achievements
Prior to the July 31 election held in 2013 Maridadi had promised his electorate that will put to an end problems in the constituency including their taps problems such as youth unemployment, flowing raw sewer, uncollected garbage attracting lots of flies and serious water cuts.
He vowed that if voted into office he would help develop the area and claimed that he was not interested in the perks and benefits that came along with being an MP.
To date the legislator has been able to work on his election promises and has been able to deal with the challenges that his constituency was facing as they are now able to receive tap water and garbage collection has steadily improved and potholes in some roads have been patched which is a nice try.
However there is need for the legislator to embark on teenage pregnancies campaign in his area as the problem seems to be growing and discourage parents who leave their children engaging in child prostitution.
Mabvuku resident are still yet to see his election promises coming to fruition as most of the legislators even the Government has been blaming lack of infrastructure development to the difficult economic conditions prevailing in Zimbabwe.