UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabwean philanthropist Barbara Nyagomo has set plans to abandon her base and return to Zimbabwe to challenge for the country’s presidency in 2018, a website www.newzimbabwe.com has reported.
Nyagomo, 45, is founder of the less known Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ) but has been very active in Diaspora based efforts aimed at pressuring for a return to good governance back home.
“I am actually packing to come back home full time by end of 2016. This year I will go to Zimbabwe to support the team on the ground,” she told NewZimbabwe.com from her UK base.
The once Zapu Europe Vice chairperson has been living in Britain since 1997.
In between, she has formed the Tokwe Mukosi Barbara Nyagomo Foundation aimed at assisting victims of the 2013 floods.
She has also bagged a haul of awards in the field of humanitarian work chief among them the SPMUDA International in 2012. SPMUDA international is non-profit organisation promoting peace, unity and development.
Nyagomo has also been to parts of the African continent, training less privileged women in different skills on how to fend for themselves.
This includes a training Ugandan communities in soap-making.In 2012 Nyagomo, the self styled “Iron Lady or “Murandakadzi Barbara”; was caught red-handed circulating pictures with under age kids committing fraudulent activities, stripping off labels from other products and replacing them with her labels.
She feels her vast humanitarian work will spur her into winning the country’s top job.
She said: “All my work with the community groups and Zimbabwe Charity organisations is on voluntary basis using my own money, time and resources.
“This has given me the opportunity to learn more about community integration, human rights, funding, organising events, working with other organisations and agencies.
“I have excelled as a motivator and I have a lot of energy to make a difference.”
Besides her busy charitable work which is less demanding compared to party politics, the mother of two feels she is endowed with enough spine to now plunge unscathed into the often violent hard-core politics, a virtual hard hat area in Zimbabwe.
Asked how she intends to deal with the violence that peaks towards the country’s elections, Nyagomo, said: “It is our duty to influence change…people are not political footballs. They must not accept politicians who abuse them and bribe them every five years to vote for them.”
The Zimbabwean businesswoman is a frequent guest in the House of Commons in the capacity of African Diaspora Advocate to debate on issues of empowerment, sustainability, change, policies and poverty alleviation.
She has been a vocal activist against arbitrary deportation of Zimbabweans based in Britain among them X Factor star Gamu Nhengu and is often invited by British radio stations to discuss various issues pertaining to the empowerment of African women.
The UK registered Critical Care nurse is also a holder of a business diploma, African Diaspora Advocate certificate, a social and Community Work diploma and is currently studying for a Social Work degree with a Manchester university.
Nyagomo speaks fondly about her fledgling party back home.
“PDZ is made up of untainted people, ordinary people doing extra ordinary work; we are promoting youths and women leaders.
“We are young with new ideas to progressively move the country forward.”
The pro-democracy activist turned politician will however not be the first woman to form a party in Zimbabwe.
She joins Marceline Chikasha, founder of the African Democratic Party, who coincidentally, found herself retracing her steps back to her homeland after living in the UK for years.-newzimbabwe.com