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Chinhoyi mayoral election sparks fierce jostling among CCC councillors

by Staff reporter
11 Sep 2023 at 06:29hrs | Views
THERE is fierce tussling within Citizens' Coalition for Change (CCC) Chinhoyi as four contestants position themselves ahead of elections to choose a new mayor and deputy premier.

Last Wednesday, the party invited curriculum vitaes (CVs) and manifestos from prospective mayoral candidates and conducted a preliminary selection exercise presided over by top CCC officials despatched from Harare.

Immediate past mayor Garikai Dendera, former premier Dyke Makumbi, returnee councillor Owen Charuza, who served from 2008 to 2013, and greenhorn David Malunga have thrown names into the ring to contest the coveted and lucrative post, though ceremonial.

Two female candidates namely immediate past deputy mayor Patricia Chibaya and former deputy premier, Chipo Mhlotswa, are vying for the second highest office in council.

Elections for mayoral positions are expected this week following an induction workshop for councillors held in Harare over the weekend.

NewZimbabwe.com caught up with Charuza and Malunga, who gave insights on their priorities and credentials that will help transform Chinhoyi.

"We have our work cut out as councillors to ensure service delivery is holistically dealt with. This is the biggest single challenge Chinhoyi faces amid failure by management to implement hundreds of resolutions passed by council," said Charuza.

"If politics doesn't come into play and councillors countrywide are allowed to act according to the Urban Councils Act (UCA) chapter 29:15 subsection 139, it allows the mayor to suspend the town clerk for failure to uphold his office or supervise his subordinates."

Charuza lamented the unkempt city park piling with garbage, ballooning workers salary arrears, dry water taps and lackadaisical work ethic at the local authority, which he says was an indicator Town Clerk Maxwell Kaitano was sleeping on the job.

He also took aim at Kaitano for what he termed profligacy.

"Why does he prefer to have a luxurious lifestyle when we don't have running pumps at waterworks, when we don't have simple beds at clinics for bed rests, but somebody opts to buy a car worth US$150 000 for himself.

"Yes, those are conditions of service but you can only honour and uphold them when service is visible and tangible…at least get service delivery to 60%.

"Right now people have gone for months without water, specifically myself where l stay it has been 26 months, that's two years and two months, no water comes out of taps."

Malunga was upbeat he will land the top post banking on his relationships, academic qualifications and vast professional experience.

"The mayoral post is about leadership and knowing how to strategically place your team…what we don't want are stumbling blocks. It's about understanding and interpreting the UCA, which is the guiding tool.

"I have experience, integrity and credibility as a corporate leader and labour unionist having been branch manager at Red Star for almost nine years. I am currently a supervisor at Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and leader at Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC)," said Malunga.

Turning to service delivery, Malunga said council needed to court investors to bankroll the estimated US$22 million water augmentation project to end perennial water woes facing the town.

The 12 newly-elected CCC councillors are now reportedly divided and have coalesced around either the former MP Peter Mataruse or new legislator Leslie Mhangwa, a trend which manifested during the chaotic candidate selection process for just-ended harmonised elections.

Whoever is going to win the mayoral race would have to get votes from Zanu-PF councillors, Voster Mashevedzanwa and Innocent Mangwanya, as well as independent councillor Archibald Muzanenhamo Nyazamba, who all literally have no stakes in the CCC power struggles.

Last week, a total 20 councillors, including five women quota nominees, were sworn in at Chinhoyi Town House amid revelations rifts have emerged in the opposition camp over impending mayoral elections.

The following took oath of office and loyalty as councillors, Good Sairos (Ward 1), Patricia Chibaya (Ward 2), Richard Vitirunyu (Ward 3), Archibald Muzanenhamo Nyazamba (Ward 4), Garikai Dendera (Ward 5), Owen Charuza (Ward 6), Anorld Muronga (Ward 7), David Malunga (Ward 8), Ninion Verandeni (Ward 9) and Lovemore Kurwakumire (Ward 10).

Others are Voster Mashevedzanwa (Ward 11), Dyke Makumbi (Ward 12), Busani Dube (Ward 13), Chipo Mhlotswa (Ward 14) and Innocent Mangwanya (Ward 15) and women quota representatives Florence Masache, Dorcas Marunga, Abigail Sauti all of CCC and Magrene Chidarikire and Ruth Chikukwa of Zanu-PF.

Source - NewZimbabwe