Rusty Markham Biography: Early Life | Agriculture and Agronomy | Political Career | CCC | Tendai Biti
Rusty Markham is a Zimbabwean farmer and politician. He is currently a member of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe for Harare North since 2018. Previously, he served on the Harare City Council from 2013 to 2018. He is a member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
Rusty Markham Early Life and Education
Rusty Markham was born on 19 May 1960 in Choma, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). He is a third- or fourth-generation white Zimbabwean. His great-grandfather was an Anglican missionary to the country in the 1890s. He attended John Cowie Primary School in Rusape, followed by Umtali Boys High School in Umtali (now Mutare) and Gwebi Agricultural College.
Career in Agriculture and Agronomy
Markham works in agriculture and agronomy and has been director of a company since 2004. He is a trustee of the Harare Wetlands Trust, the Stratford Road Community Trust, and the Hatcliffe Development Trust. He is also involved in environmental conservation and community development projects.
Rusty Markham Political Involvement and Achievements
Markham joined the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 2000. From 2013 to 2018, he was a member of the Harare City Council, representing Ward 18. He was elected to the National Assembly in the 2018 general election as the MDC Alliance candidate for the Harare North constituency, unseating the ZANU–PF incumbent, Tongesayi Mudambo. He was sworn into Parliament on 5 September 2018.
As a member of Parliament, Markham has been vocal on issues such as corruption, human rights, agriculture, and service delivery. He was arrested in January 2019 along with four other MDC parliamentarians for allegedly inciting violence during protests against fuel price hikes. He was later released on bail. He has also criticised the ruling government over what he claimed was corrupt interference with agriculture.
Tendai Biti Rivalry
Rusty Markham and Tendai Biti recently had a heated rivalry over the Harare East constituency. Biti, who is the current MP for Harare East, accused Markham, who is the former MP for Harare North, of using dirty tactics and influence peddling to win over voters in the new electoral boundaries. Biti also allegedly used derogatory language against Markham, who is white, and called him a snake. Markham has not publicly responded to Biti’s allegations. He, however, said Biti is a personal friend and also his lawyer.
Personal Life and Interests
Markham is married and lives in the Borrowdale suburb of Harare. He enjoys farming, gardening, fishing, and golfing.