MDC Alliance youth assembly secretary general Ostallos Siziba (OS) continues to define his fledgling career in national politics, having just been appointed party deputy spokesperson at a raw age of 28. Here, the International Relations degree holder shares with Zimstar News (ZN)’s Nkosana Dlamini on his journey as a budding politician, the physical torture he went through at the Zanu PF headquarters 2016, thoughts about his leader Nelson Chamisa and more.
ZN: Let’s start from your private life, how old are you and are you married?
OS: I’m 28. I was born on the 24th February 1993. I’m not married. I intend to resolve the marriage conundrum after our democratic victory in 2023.
ZN: Tell us about your family.
OS: I was born in a family of three boys and three girls. I am second from last. My dad, who was very important to me, passed away in December last year. My moral campus is resting well in heaven. His strict teachings live in me.
As a son of a domestic worker, l grew up in the ghetto, in a tiny little Tshabalala suburb in Bulawayo which has remained my favourite place since birth.
ZN: Tell us about your activism from the early years of your life.
OS: My High School teacher who, out of majority who felt l was a rebel, started conversation about politics by narrating his student union experience at the University of Zimbabwe.
He would speak as if he was friend to Learnmore Jongwe, only when l met Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya, SG Hwende, deputy treasurer general Daniel Molokele and vice chairman Job Sikhala and ofcourse my President Advocate Nelson Chamisa that l learnt about Jongwe and his friends.
My teacher made is impossible for me to choose any degree other than political science. The vibrant student union leadership as led by Pride Mkono made it easy for me choose Zinasu. The rest is a story of fighting corrupt administration, arrests, detention and torture.
ZS: Give us a hint on how life as a student activist was.
OS: In 2012 and l served the student union as the Vice President in 2014-2015. It was the beginning of organic struggle and political resistances a decade ago. I was in the student trenches fighting for academic freedom. The central enemy of the students then being Nyagura and Robert Mugabe! Both are relics of history.
ZS: Why opposition politics?
OS: It’s not the opposition; it’s “The alternative, it’s ideological, l’m a social democrat born out or radical socialist struggles and only a workers’ party like the MDC would accommodate my ideological, philosophical standpoint. Secondly the MDC is the future! There’s no one who can be a hero in two generational struggles. The democratic movement comes to advance that which was at the centre of the liberation project thus as a student of history l saw the future in the MDC.
ZS: How does your family feel about your involvement in national politics?
OS: My father taught us to be conscious. He knew that we are not on this earth forever and the world presents to us opportunities to help society and leave a mark in the annals of a history.
ZS: Tell us about your experience in the hands of Zanu PF.
OS: They wanted me dead! It was terrible experience born out of our fight for reforms. I was taken, tortured imprisoned for months. That was my experience in Mugabe’s house of terror!
ZS: How is your relationship with Nelson Chamisa.
OS: The president! He is the present. The man trusted by majority of citizens and l’m one of them. I work and serve him to the best of my abilities. He is the best foot forward if we are to archive what is at the centre of the National Democratic Revolution, which is to attain state power, govern differently and transform the concrete realities of our people, Kangene! Ngaapinde!
ZS: Lastly, how tremendous a responsibility is being MDC deputy spokesperson?
OS: This is a mammoth task! But it is out of that difficult responsibility that we can open up the future. It came to me as a shock, l had plans for my task in the youth assembly, but l had to leave- destiny calls.
I’m working under my capable leader Fadzai Mahere, she does the work, l’m there to anchor her to execute the task at hand. She is a hard worker, competent and committed. I will learn from her by deploying all my capacity, intellectual thought prowess, skills and knowledge to articulate the agenda of the democratic Alternative.