Ward 19 councillor Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi, who is in his second term in office, after being elected for the first time in 2008, is one of the most experienced councillors in the current council. He was born in Mutasa District, Manicaland Province and after completing his A-level studies he worked as a sales clerk for the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) for three years. He was relieved of his duties at GMB around 2006 because of his political activism (in the MDC). He later engaged in cross border trading until his election as councillor in 2008. “My desire to work for the community and my passion to serve the people made me decide to run for council,” explained Kufahakutizwi.
He was re-elected in 2013 due to the work he did on sewer and water provisions during his first term in office. “My strength lies in my ability to relate to the community as well as my commitment to community participation. In fact my interaction with the community makes my job easier as residents feel free to approach me with their problems.”
In terms of projects, Kufahakutizwi said that he has not been able to do as much as he wanted to due to financial constraints, although the ward has benefitted from the sinking of six boreholes. “One borehole was sunk this year by the Harare Rotary Club at the open space near Area D community Hall. The other five were sunk last year by the Church of the Latter Days Saints but one has since collapsed. Another project is the expansion of Mabvuku Poly Clinic which is already in progress,” said Kufahakutizwi.
Kufahakutizwi also revealed that he was in the process of sourcing resources to fund youth projects, as well as a women’s soccer team which needs to register for the women’s league this month. “I am planning to also do a number of clean-ups that will be targeted at clearing blocked storm water drains and right now I am in the process of engaging residents and corporates for help.”
The councillor said that his ward was still facing water problems despite a slight improvement in supply over the past two months. Other challenges faced in the ward include electricity shortages, pot-holed roads, and poor refuse collection by council.
“We still have a big challenge in terms of refuse collection, which is leading to the creation of dumpsites near shops, schools and clinics. Our roads are also in a bad state and the storm water drains are choked up (with litter),” said Kufahakutizwi. “We also need to refurbish street lights because we always experience an increase in the number of muggings at night during the rainy season when there is tall grass and maize. We are also considering awarding open spaces to co-operatives so that they can develop housing units to address the housing shortages among the poor.”
Kufahakutizwi revealed that he was facing other challenges in the discharge of his duties such as that of residents in his ward who are in the habit of politicising service delivery issues. “People should realise that as a councillor I am now playing a civic role. People should separate political and civic roles.”
Residents who wish to contact Kufahakutizwi can visit him at his offices at Area D Community Hall from Tuesday to Thursday from 9am–12pm, or visit him at his house, number 25 Chiruwa Street in New Mabvuku, or call him on 0772 638 030, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.