via Service delivery first: Manyenyeni | The Zimbabwean by Thabani Dube 16.09.13
The newly elected Harare Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni has vowed to prioritise service delivery ahead of politicking, as new councillors were sworn into office on Monday.
In his remarks as mayor MDC-T councillor Ward 17, Mt Pleasant Manyenyeni called on councillors to put political difference aside and go for service delivery.
“Unlike the partisan voting we have just witnessed here in electing the mayor, I do not expect you ‘councillors’ to vote like this in matters to do with service delivery. We should witness mixed voting for good decisions, then I would know that we are moving together,” he said.
Manyenyeni polled 38 votes against Zanu (PF) candidate Beadle Musatye Gwasira’s seven. Thomas Muzuva,Ward 14 Councillor, Kambuzuma was officially elected Deputy Mayor ahead of Zanu (PF)’s Samuel Garachani by the same margin.
Harare has 46 wards and councillors with Zanu (PF) having only seven seats, MDC-T with 39. Tungamirai Madzokere was absent.
Manyenyeni said they come into office at a time the city is grappling with water woes, poor waste management, roads and housing shortages.
“I admit that the current random illegal urban resettlement is due to poor housing delivery by council and thus we should work together to provide houses and these illegal resettlements would disappear,” said Manyenyeni.
He urged the residents to cooperate with the council in mapping the way forward. “We will consult widely and take informed decisions,” he said. Muzuva urged councillors to unite as they embark on a service delivery journey.
“This Town House is not a political field but a service delivery zone. People out there expect us to deliver and provide them with water as well as to collect garbage,” he said.
He promised residents that this council would bring service delivery to their doorstep for the next five years.
The Harare Metropolitan Provincial Administrator, Alfred Tome who was appointed to chair Council Caretakers together with Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi during the election period reminded councillors that local authorities were not parallel arms of the central government.
“Let me remind you that Local Government is a lower level of Central Government Public Administration which uses both constitutional and delegated powers and functions to manage local affairs and provide services,” said Tome.
“We as Central Government expect councillors to play their role whilst respecting the role of the Town Clerk and his Heads of Department in advising the council on all the technical issues,” he added.
Manyenyeni take over from outgoing Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda whom he described as a ‘world class mayor’. The incoming council has 19 returning councillors all from MDC-T.
Gender wise out of 46 councillors there are six female councillors, one from Zanu (PF) and MDC-T five.