Council last month elected Councillor Enock Mupamawonde of Ward 35 (Mufakose and Marimba) as the new deputy mayor to replace Councillor Christopher Mbanga (Ward 8) who resigned in March citing political pressure. Harare News (HN) went one on one with Mupamawonde (DM) to find out more about his personal life, political career, and vision for the City.
HN: Who is Enock Mupamawonde?
DM: I am a married man with three boys. I was born in Buhera in 1969 and did my education at Mutasa Primary School and Mamunyadza Secondary School. I then left Buhera for Harare where I found work in the stores department at Willovale Mazda Motor Industry before I went to Masvingo Polytechnic where I studied Marketing from 1994 to 1998. I later worked as research executive before enrolling at University of Zimbabwe for a Bachelor’s of Business Studies…In my fourth year I then landed a lecturing post at the university due to the experience I had got at Masvingo Polytechnic where I was tasked to teach first year students while I was still a fourth year student.
I was then asked to continue lecturing at the university on the arrangement that I also study for my Masters’ Degree. I then left the U.Z after three years for a brief stint at the Reserve Bank before coming back into education as a lecturer at the Zimbabwe Open University. Right now I am still lecturing on a part time basis.
HN: Political career?
DM: I was never a politician in my life until the birth of MDC which I joined in 2000. I followed all the activities of the party both as a member and activist. People in Mufakose and Marimba then approached me towards the 2013 elections to run for councillor due to my work for the party and community. I initially refused but only agreed after people threw in the idea of having a Mayor from the high density area- a position they believed I could fit.
HN: What have you managed to do in your ward since your election as Councillor?
DM: My first project was a pothole filling campaign which attracted much attention from residents, council, and the media. I also sunk 15 boreholes in my ward after I had presented a proposal to a donor. I then bought 500 chairs for the community hall as well as repairing the roof and I am confident that the roof will not need any attendance in the next 40 to 50 years. The next project was the resuscitation of all recreational spaces and public toilets which had been abandoned for the past 20 to 25 years. I also bought a computer, printer, and photocopier for the district administrator’s secretary who was issuing out handwritten correspondence.
HN: What do you seek to achieve for Harare in your new position as Deputy Mayor?
DM: My new position is a consolidation of what I have been working on as I still remain a councillor and I will continue working for the people of Mufakose. However, there are added responsibilities as I have to step in whenever the mayor is away. My value addition to the mayoral responsibilities is anchored on the background of having been firstly the former chairperson of the Information and Publicity Committee as well as the recent chairperson of the Audit Committee which is the heart of compliance, mitigation, and managing the financial risk of council. This is an extremely important arm (Audit Committee) in curtailing financial haemorrhage through corruption and fraud so my experience will definitely compliment the Mayor in his insatiable desire to create and ensure proper accountability and transparency in council.
HN: Do you feel any political pressure considering that your predecessor was forced to vacate the Deputy Mayor’s position?
DM: No myself I do not look into that whether it is there or imaginary.
HN: What is your view on the current state of the City?
DM: The pressure and responsibilities are still huge because we need to work on our roads which are in a bad state, water which is not available 24/7, and the issue of street lighting. We are working hard to address these challenges and I hope residents can appreciate the efforts that have been put in so far.
HN: Do you think Harare can achieve the World Class City status by 2025?
DM: It is a vision which can be possible or might not be possible, but it all depends on what happens post 2018. We cannot achieve a world class city when the country has not achieved world class status in terms of services and governance issues. It is very important that the efforts we are putting as council are complemented by government…However, the vision is likely to be achieved because we have so far managed to address the issue of water, rehabilitation of buildings, and putting up streetlights.
HN: Can you rate the performance of the current council in a scale 0-10?
DM: Under the circumstances we are working in I would put it at six or seven because the various councillors have done wonderful work in their wards under difficult conditions. The only challenge is that the developmental stories are not being told so that residents realise that a lot has been done…But we would want two or more projects which are of significance to the whole city to make sure that residents clearly see our work.