Students from Harare schools have been appointed to the new Junior Council Executive for the 2016–2017 term. The inauguration, which was held on 31 August at Town House, was attended by seventy participating schools.
Seventy-seven students were elected into the 2016–2017 Junior Council, and of this number eight form the Executive Committee led by Junior Mayor Nigel Mharapara of Mufakose High and his Deputy, Junior Mayor Alison Sawadya from Arundel.
The remaining members of the Executive Committee are:
Junior Chief of Committees: Karen Motsi (Gateway)
Junior Projects Coordinator: Tanatsei Gambure (Dominican Convent)
Junior Public Relations Officer: Guidance Gunundu (St John’s Emerald Hill)
Junior Treasurer: Leroy Mutyambizi (Allan Wilson)
Junior Chamber Secretary: Munashe Machazire (Ellis Robins)
Junior Town Clerk: Joshua Masanga (Prince Edward)
The new Junior Mayor, Nigel Mharapara hails from Mufakose High and takes over from his predecessor, Rufaro Manyepa of Churchill Boys. This year, Churchill Boys High has finally relinquished the position of Junior Mayor after holding it for three consecutive years. This is a welcome development which proves that the position is not only reserved for Group A schools but is instead based on merit.
The new Junior Mayor called for safer spaces for children, saying the campaign for safe cities started by outgoing Junior Mayor Manyepa will continue during his term. The campaign, which started in response to the death of a Girls High student in a hit and run accident this year, is aimed at raising awareness about the rights of children. “I am happy that I was voted in. It took hard work and determination to be in this seat today,” said Mharapara. Interviews for Junior Council were in March this year and students underwent boot camp training focusing on leadership skills before final selection.
Harare Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni and the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary education, Dr Paul Mavhima were in attendance at the inauguration. Parents of participating students also came out to support their children.
The Junior Council is a replica of the Senior Council and is comprised of A’ level students. Established in 1953, its function is to mentor students who display genuine commitment on issues of community development to learn about local governance and to represent the concerns of other children to local authorities.
Image: Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni (left) with 2016 Junior Mayor Nigel Mharapara of Mufakose High (centre) and his predecessor, Rufaro Manyepa of Churchill Boys High (right).