Councilor for Ward 17 Benard Manyenyeni is the new mayor for the city of Harare, taking over from Muchadeyi Masunda.
The mayor and his deputy were today elected by Harare’s new councilors, who also took their oath of office before town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi at a special meeting of council at Townhouse.
Manyenyeni, who won his municipal seat on an MDC-T ticket, is a fresh man at Townhouse. He is expected to bank on the experience of his deputy, councilor for Ward 13, Thomas Muzuva also from the MDC, who served in the previous council.
Manyenyeni landed the job after garnering 38 votes against seven that were received by the other nominee for the post, councilor Musatye Gwasira from Zanu-PF. The same pattern of vote distribution was also followed in the election of deputy mayor, which saw Muzuva shrugging off a challenge from councilor Samuel Garachani of Zanu PF.
In his handover speech to the new mayor, the Harare Provincial Administrator Alfred Tome, who was the joint caretaker, urged the incoming council executive to make sure that they work for the improvement of service delivery in Harare.
“The provision of water, waste management, the roads themselves, public lighting housing and affordable health services should be high on your agenda. We want to make Harare the Sunshine city of the world,” said Tome.
In his first address to council, His Worship Manyenyeni said he understood Harare’s problems and he was banking his success on the support of all stakeholders. “My office is ceremonial so I charge the town clerk and his executive team and those directly below him to execute their tasks with full commitment to delivering service to our residents. We can only be ceremonial as you are operational.”
“I urge all the residents of Harare to be involved and also play their part. The new council will waste no time in getting to work in dealing with the critical issues that we all know about. The city has many challenges particularly water; our roads are an eyesore and the issue of waste collection,” said the new mayor.
The deputy mayor elect, Muzuva said he was grateful for being elected and urged all councilors to take off their political jackets and concentrate on service delivery.
“This place is not a political field. The Townhouse is a place for service delivery. We are here, not for politics, but to bring service to the people. The people out there need water to drink and safe roads to travel on,” said his worship deputy mayor, Thomas Muzuva in his acceptance speech.
The new mayor is now faced with a herculean task of dealing with the challenges that have plagued Harare for the past decade. All that remains to be seen is whether he will be up to the task.