For most of his council life, which started five years ago, Stewart Musarurwa Mutizwa has dedicated himself to the advancing of the health and environment issues in the city of Harare.
In the wake of the health and water crisis that hit Harare in 2008, Mutizwa was tasked with chairing the council’s Health and Environment Department to help quash the cholera and typhoid epidemic that raged through the city. He worked to restore 75 percent of water supplies to city suburbs and helped stop sewer spillages in some of Harare’s high-density suburbs. He also embarked on several clean-ups with corporate and environmental groups.
He’s the councillor of Ward 9, which covers the areas of Greendale, Mandara, Chikurubi, Gletwin, Chishawasha, Msasa and Zimphos. He himself lives in Greendale.
What is your background?
I was born in 1972 in rural Chihota. I went to Charakupa Secondary School and People’s College for my secondary education. I am an administrator with a tobacco leaf company in Harare and also a politician. Council is my second portifolio. I am passionate about health and environment issues. I firmly believe that life should be centred on how we look after our environment.
Why did you choose to stand as a councillor?
I chose to stand as a councillor because I have always wanted to serve people. I am a Christian and my faith demands that I serve people wherever I am. I was also inspired by Danny Meyer, one time councillor and alderman in the city of Harare. He was a down to earth man and was always with the people.
Have you held a political position before?
I came into politics in the year 2008 when I was first elected councillor for Ward 9. Before that I was deeply involved in my party MDC since its formation in 1999. I was returned by my constituency this year.
What development plans will you be bringing to your constituency?
I believe in a consultative process where the people who elected me will tell me what they want done. But on the whole, I intend to complete projects I started in my last term. I will continue the work on the rehabilitation of roads and fixing of streetlights. On the environment side, I will continue to push for a greater awareness of the preservation and conservation of our natural habitats and water sources such as wetlands, rivers and dams. These play a critical role in the city. My constituency still has natural resources in their prime. It will be important to make sure that they are best taken care of and preserved for the next generation to see and enjoy.
City of Harare’s public health care is in a shambles, what plans do you have to improve it?
Healthcare in the City of Harare, including my constituency, has been compromised by the lack of delivery of essential services such as the collection of garbage, water supply and sewer reticulations. Improvements in the provision of these essential services will go a long way in improving health care delivery. As you know,the environment we live in mirrors the state of our health care. The other development that needs to take place is the building of more poly-clinics. Equipping these facilities with state of art apparatus is crucial. The population of Harare is growing and it needs more public health facilities. We must commend the previous council for starting the ball rolling.
What used to be the Sunshine City is now marked with dirt and litter everywhere, how do you plan to solve that in your constituency?
The city has acquired a new refuse collection fleet that is working all week long. Council has also employed quite a number of people to clean up the streets. I believe if all residents of Harare take ownership, the city will claim back its sunshine status.
If he’s the councillor of your ward, contact Stewart Mutizwa on 0773 012 207.