Former Ambassador runs for council seat in Bulilima

Former Zimbabwean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mabed Ngulani, is running as a councillor for Ward 2 in Bulilima District on a Citizens for Coalition for Change (CCC) ticket.

His election manifesto focuses on development implementation because councillors, according to him, are development officers.

Ward 2 in Bulilima is made up of six villages: Kandana, Gwambe 1, Gwambe 2, Mabungwe, Bhalaza, and Diba.

Ngulani worked as an ambassador for the Government of National Unity (GNU) from 2010 to 2013, gaining experience engaging with people and understanding their development needs.

According to the former diplomat, Zimbabwean councils require “high calibre” individuals who are familiar with and understand council affairs.

“This is most important because a councillor is designated as the development officer for a ward. I believe my ward has over the years lagged in what I consider as development-oriented councillors,” Ngulani said in an interview with CITE.

Ngulani said he has a number of projects that he wants to achieve should he be elected to the Bulilima Rural District Council and said earning a salary was the least in his mind.

“There is no salary when one is a councillor but they need to be a development-oriented person, which I am and my manifesto places me where my mouth is in terms of development,” said the former diplomat.

One of the most pressing issues in Ward 2, according to the aspiring councillor, is the provision of water, both surface and underground.

“We don’t have enough dams, they are silted. We only have one big dam serving the whole ward and that is overwhelmed. Smaller dams have either burst or are silted and can’t hold water anymore,” Ngulane noted, adding he wanted to work with development partners, the government, and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) to resuscitate the silted or burst dams. 

Ngulani stated he will also push for the construction of a large dam in the next five years, which was sited a few years ago in Gandana village.

“I also want to push for the digging of more boreholes to reduce the distances that people go to fetch water. This is a big problem, especially for our women folk. I also want to dig more boreholes in order to have a garden in each particular village,” he said. 

Ward 2 only has three gardens, according to the prospective councillor, and he would make sure to create three more so that each village has a garden for the locals.

“Locals will be able to cultivate fresh vegetables for themselves or sell the excess in these gardens,” he said.

Ngulani said a road that runs through Ward 2 was needed and had to be maintained at a reasonable condition to enable people to travel “without hassles.”

“We also need to look at infrastructure like preschools. We need to build more preschools in each particular village,” he said, adding the local authority will have to assess what other developmental needs are needed in Ward 2.

“Especially getting people to work together. We can have income-generating projects which I’ve seen in other parts  of the country that are lacking in this part of the area.” 

The former diplomat stated his background was in education, having worked as a lecturer at a local university for the majority of his life.

“I am bringing a lot of experience that can benefit my ward, which is why I’m running for council. I was Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Nigeria at the GNU period and have also worked in the private sector. I am not contesting for money because there is no money. You receive an allowance once in a while if the council can afford it but you have to be motivated by serving your own people and making a difference in the lives of the community that one lives in,” Ngulani said.

Ngulani is a local business person, running businesses in Bulilima District and Plumtree Town for “many” years.

“I know the commercial and business side of things and that would be my approach to the developmental needs of Ward 2. Currently, I believe I am the second biggest goat farmer in Bulilima District. I am into farming, commerce, industry and manufacturing because I  manufacture school uniforms,” said the former diplomat.

He said he also wanted to create several economic opportunities for local youths in Ward 2, many of whom were unemployed.

“We will create enterprises that engage our youth economically in order to wean them off injengu, which is illicit alcohol that is bedevilling the country,” he summed. 

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