The ruling Zanu PF’s only mayor in Zimbabwe, Thulani Moyo of Gwanda Municipality, says he is excited to be President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first-born-mayor after the August 23 and 24 harmonised elections.
Thirty-three out of the 34 urban councils in the country are led by opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) mayors, which dominates urban local authorities.
In an interview yesterday, Moyo said his election as mayor was a result of working hard to bring victory for his party in the Matabeleland South provincial capital.
“I am His Excellency ED Mnangagwa’s first born mayor and I am pleased with that. I feel very honoured and I am looking forward to getting a cake for this.
“This did not come for free. I worked for it for the past 10 years in which I have been a good leader who cares, listens, is hands on and has people at heart. This earned me this position,” he said.
Moyo said he is driven by a passion for Gwanda’s development and desire to meet resident’s needs.
“I am simply Thulani Moyo. I grew up in Kezi, Matobo district and completed my Ordinary Level education in 1988 with five Ordinary Level subjects. I am a soccer player, a church loving person and a businessman in Gwanda town,” he said.
The Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe presidential advisor hails from a popular family in politics which included Vote Maphenduka Moyo, Jonathan Maphenduka Moyo and they used to sing for late former Vice President Joshua Nyongolo Nkomo when he visited their homestead in Kezi.
Maphenduka Moyo was once Nkomo’s driver.
“I got into the Zanu PF youth league and have been Gwanda East district vice-chairman. I am currently a Zanu PF district coordinating committee participating member.
“From the Unity Accord, being guided by our parents, I went through Zanu PF ideology training, and I understand party structures and its constitution.
“My plans are tied to ED’s vision 2030, and I am well focused on developmental issues for Gwanda to be economically positioned through National Development Strategy 1.
“I want to see a modernised Gwanda, clean and smart city that will create industrialisation and housing provision for it to grow fast.”
Moyo said he believed in engagement, participation and transparency.
Gwanda is currently facing serious water challenges, he added.
“Pumping hours and treatment plan size are no longer enough for the population. We have a three months’ salary backlog, and I am addressing that soon. By mid-November we will be done.
“My target is also to remove the dumpsite to a new landfill, and we are working on acquiring the necessary equipment. We also need streetlights to address dark spots which result in high robbery cases,” Moyo said.
He added: “My strength in running the town is to be accommodative to all stakeholders, owners of the town. I created an advisory team of former executive and ceremonial mayors and aldermen.”
Moyo said he had also engaged the business community and will assist them to address their challenges as growth of the town lies in their hands.
The mayor said he will hold a meeting with middle and small gold miners tomorrow on how they can contribute to the town’s development.
“I have also approached Pretoria Portland Cement and will visit Blanket Mine to give them land to develop houses for their workers.
“I will also engage the lands office to create agro farming stands across Mtshabezi for crops production as well as cattle farming. The engagement was not provided for a long time. I am working on unity with all stakeholders so that investors come for development,” he said.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) recently threatened to disconnect water to Gwanda town over a ZWL$1,3 billion debt.
In response, council has issued a threat to ratepayers to disconnect water over their ZWL$5,1 billion debt.
Zinwa reportedly gave council up to October 30 to pay up and avoid being disconnected.