Highlands Councillor Christopher Mbanga was yesterday elected new deputy mayor for Harare, filling the vacancy created by the death of Councillor Thomas Muzuva who succumbed to cancer last month.
Clr Mbanga (MDC-T) polled 30 votes against Zanu PF’s Clr Rai Gwenambira’s who got 5 at a special full council held for the election. There was one spoilt paper.
MDC-T councillors preferred Glen Norah Clr Wellington Chikombo but their party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai is understood to have hand-picked Clr Mbanga, who in his acceptance speech, thanked Mr Tsvangirai for “showing confidence and trust in me”.
The councillors who were whipped into line were of the opinion that since Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni also hails from the affluent suburbs (Mount Pleasant) Clr Chikombo could represent the high-density areas.
Clr Mbanga also represents Colne Valley, Chisipite, Ballentyne Park, The Grange, Oval Park and Rhodesville. In his acceptance speech, the deputy mayor paid tribute to his predecessor Clr Muzuva for his wisdom, forthrightness, tenacity, positive leadership, honesty and deep knowledge of council systems and by laws.
“I wish to pledge my loyalty to you as leader of council and pledge to work with you in the best interests of councillors, management, council employees, our stakeholders and residents. They are all important in the execution of our duties and mandates.
“This election, to me means enhanced service delivery to the residents and kind consideration of the welfare of the physically handicapped, widows, women and children and the elderly and pensioners of Harare,” he said.
He said he would also ensure the provision of leadership to the councillors and council employees as well as accountability and transparency in all council operations. Clr Mbanga said he would exhibit a high degree of maturity, cooperation, integrity and professionalism.
“Your Worship, I am obsessed with the cleanliness of the city. I believe cleanliness starts with oneself, one’s toilet, one’s kitchen and one’s rest rooms. I believe if you can take food in your toilet, you are clean.
“Our business licensing processes and indeed all other processes must be simplified and made user-friendly on our road to achieve a World Class status by 2025,” he said.