Eight newly-elected Bulawayo councillors were sworn in Monday following their victory in the March 26 by-elections.
The councillors are Edwin Ndlovu (Ward 8), Donaldson Mabuto (Ward 9), Lilian Mlilo (Ward 12), Concillia Mlalazi (Ward 18), Christopher Dube (Ward 19), Earnest Rafamoyo (Ward 20), Tinevimbo Maposa (Ward 21) and Mpumelelo Moyo (Ward 26).
Welcoming the councillors, Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni said for the first time the local authority has become a multi-party chamber.
“But let me hasten to say there is no minority, there is no majority, what you see here are the councillors of the City of Bulawayo, we are elected and given the mandate to serve our people,” said Mguni.
He thanked councillors who have been taking care of the eight wards following MDC-T recalls dating back to 2020.
“I know there are three new councillors, new in the sense of novelty, who are coming for the first time, of course, the other five are returning councillors and we still have a challenge of course with Ward 3 which will remain vacant for now and for those who have been caretaking in these wards, we want to thank you for the great work that you did to ensure that the work of the council continued.”
Mayor Mguni said they expect all councillors to carry the vision of the City of Bulawayo which is to be a smart and transformative City by the year 2024.
“ As I welcome you to Bulawayo City Council (BCC) please allow me to remind you that our mandate here is to serve the people of Bulawayo as I have said that people must go to their constituencies and serve the city and as councillors, our main mandate is to carry the vision of the city which is to be a Smart and Transformative City by the year 2024 and we expect all of us to champion this vision and be guided by the values of the city that is Integrity, Transparency, Innovation, Accountability, Fairness and Consultation in our day to day duties,” he said.
The Mayor added: “To the newly elected councillors please be cognizant of the fact that you need to fulfil the obligation that has been given to you by your constituencies but like I said that we are now councillors of the City of Bulawayo. You are not only limited to your wards but we are serving the whole City.”
“Being a councillor is not an easy job, as a councillor you are exposed to public scrutiny hence, we need to be courageous and transparent in carrying out our duties, all transactions of the council in the public domain, you have been given an opportunity to lead the city of Bulawayo and I hope you will serve with honour and dignity,” he said.
Mguni reminded the councillors that they were as good as having been deployed to government.
“You are serving the government, so there is no ‘them’ and ‘us’, we have jackets of course but we are a tier of government and we are expected to support government programmes.”
Meanwhile, Fikile Marovatsanga who was standing in Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Judith Ncube, welcomed the newly elected councillors.
“In Zimbabwe, at the moment we have National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) that we are all working towards, council also has strategic plans that feed into the national development strategy,” said Marovatsanga.
“The mayor has already alluded that we don’t have green, we don’t have yellow, we don’t have the colour orange, we are all trying to work towards the development of our country, so we need to brace up for this position that we have been given and make sure that we pull up our socks and brace up for working hard so that we do not disappoint the people on the ground,” she said.