Renowned journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has condemned the election of inexperienced councillors as mayors, saying they cannot make meaningful contributions for the greater good.
Chin’ono made the remarks in response to the election of several mayors who are under the age of 30 by councils dominated by the opposition Nelson Chamisa-led CCC.
Prince Thuso Moyo (27) was elected as the mayor of Victoria Falls City, Shantiel Chiwara (25) was elected Masvingo City mayor, and Annah Sande (25) was elected Epworth Local Board Chairperson. All three officials are CCC members.
Posting on X, Chin’ono said Zimbabwe should move away from electing inexperienced mayors who have achieved nothing in life as they may end up grabbing council resources for personal aggrandisement. He said:
Whilst the idea of promoting youth public leadership is great, we have to understand the role of a councillor.
Rhodesian cities which we inherited in 1980 were highly successful because they had a standard in how councillors and mayors were selected, nominated and elected.
A councillor was meant to be someone who has been highly successful somewhere in the field of professions.
Their success elsewhere was then the culmination of their election in order to contribute their much-needed experience in council for the greater good.
People like [David Coltart], Ben Manyenyeni and [Muchadeyi Masunda] exemplify that philosophy, they had something to give, and were not in it for stands (council land) and per diems.
Council has committees [such as] Public Accounts, you bring a successful chartered account; Engineering, you bring a successful engineer; Health, you bring a successful doctor and so on.
That is how Dr Timothy Stamps became a councillor before he became Zimbabwe’s Health Minister.
You could not be a councillor let alone a mayor without a property in your ward or in the city when Zimbabwean cities worked.
Today we are having these 25/27-year-old mayors being selected, what are they bringing to the table for the cities in which they will run? What experience will they bring?
Zimbabwe has been killed by career politicians who know nothing except politics.
ZANU PF removed all the important requirements to being a councillor, and when the opposition took over in 2000, it never made an attempt to rectify that, it rode on it because it was politically convenient.
It has sent useless and unqualified people to council, some without even an O’ Level certificate.
When challenged on this issue, the opposition says qualified people don’t come, the real question should be why are you failing to attract them.
You can not expect a serious person to come and put their name into the hat with the way and systems both ZANU PF and CCC elected their representatives.
So citizens shouldn’t complain when these councillors fail to fight ZANUPF bureaucrats and fail to deliver, it is because you are sending councillors who are not qualified and some who are imposed by the opposition leadership.
They won’t be able to navigate their way around critical issues and ZANU PF will prevail over them by simply bribing them.
There are councillors today who were involved in massive corruption scandals but were still selected and are in council this very day.
Opposition councillors have been taking land from the council every 5 years, is that the change that we are fighting for so that those we support can use local government as a patronage tool?
If we elected people who were qualified and had been successful elsewhere, they would not need to steal land from the cities.
That land must be returned otherwise the opposition will be just as bad as another side of ZANU PF, the only difference being that they loot using different platforms of government.
How will a 25 or 27-year-old mayor with no real working experience navigate around running a city and pushing back on ZANU PF’s excessive corrupt practices, and how will she/he push back on her/his own party’s councillors when they want to take the land as they do every 5 years.
Instead of removing these ZANUPF regulations, they use them to justify looting.
The idea that you should support anything because it has been done by a side other than ZANU PF is contributing to the economic decay of Zimbabwe.
A real alternative to ZANUPF must have a higher standard, you only get world-class cities when you elect world-class councillors.
To attract world-class councillors you must use world-class practices in your political parties.
Do you see Dr Solomon Guramatunhu, Strive Masiyiwa or Dr James Manyika standing for selection in Harare with a queue of people behind them?
A people get the government and councillors that they deserve. Don’t complain when they deliver a service commensurate with their pay grade.
The post Electing Novices As Mayors A Recipe For Disaster, Says Hopewell Chin’ono appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.