Despite his youth, Councillor Barnabas Ndira (Ward 21) is already improving service delivery for residents of his ward in Mabvuku.
Born in Makonde, Mashonaland West, in 1980, Ndira moved to Harare in 1984 to stay with his father in Mabvuku. After completing O-levels at Mabvuku High School in 1997 Ndira enrolled for a marketing course and later did a transport management certificate which he is currently studying to upgrade to diploma level.
Ndira said he was inspired to pursue politics by his late older brother Tonderai who was a prominent activist. The councillor stated that his main strength lies in his ability to communicate with the electorate. “When I was growing up I had a desire to work for the community and I wanted to connect with people and help people. I always wanted to be able to assist the community and that ideal is still driving me,” said Ndira.
Mabvuku experiences serious problems with water delivery and Ndira said that his main priority is for residents to have a regular supply of clean water. “The water projects we are working on are mainly boreholes, but that is not ideal because residents need water from the tap. So these are just temporary measures to alleviate the water problem,” explained Ndira.
The councillor has sourced seven boreholes from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Three of the boreholes were installed at schools and the other four at various points in the ward.
Ndira said that he is also working on other projects including the rehabilitation of roads, and resuscitating community social centres for children. On the subject of repairing the roads, the councillor said, “I sourced sand and other material from council and mobilised residents to repair their streets. I am constantly encouraging residents to unite to repair the roads because service delivery is currently poor.”
Councillor Ndira said that he is also working with Mavambo Trust and the Ministry of Education to pay school fees for underprivileged children in his ward between nine and 18 years of age. The children attend Donnybrook Primary School and Mabvuku Primary School.
However, Ndira said that it is difficult for people to appreciate the role councillors are playing as there is little improvement in service delivery due to the lack of resources. “In the background we are doing our best to ensure that residents get improved services but it is difficult for people to realise that something is going on because there are no tangible results,” explained Ndira.
The councillor said that his ward faces other challenges such as inconsistent refuse collection and lack of refuse bags at district offices to give out to residents, “Residents end up creating illegal dumpsites.”
As a parting shot, Ndira said, “I urge residents of ward 21 to come together to find solutions to our problems. I also urge the business community in my ward to assist with any help they can provide.”