SEVERAL women’s rights organisations have expressed delight following a significant increase in the number of female councillors who made it into Gweru City Council from only one in the past 10 years to nine this time around.
For the past 10 years, Gweru City Council has had only one female councillor, Catherine Mhondiwa, who advocated women’s rights within the “City of Progress”.
The nine female councillors who landed posts in the 23 and 24 August 2023 elections are Mercy Mangwanya (ward one); Faith Chuma (ward two), Girlie Zvidzai (ward three), Nyaradzo Madzikura (ward nine) and for proportional representation there is Kundiona Spiwe, Magaya Miriam, Ronah Masocha, Chakauya Olivia and Fortunate Mlambo.
The director for Zimbabwe Women Against Corruption Trust (ZWACT), Sandra Matendere, said there is a need for the female councillors to do their duties diligently and desist from any corrupt activities.
“As ZWACT we are very happy that many women have joined Gweru City. We are expecting to see improvement on service delivery,” said Matendere.
“We are optimistic about this team of councillors as it is a positive development to have women pushing the concerns of other women during meetings. Overally, women’s participation is still low, but let’s celebrate those who made it.”
Florence Guzha, director of Ebenezer, also congratulated the councillors for taking leadership positions.
“We are very happy for these women and it is our hope that they are going to be great changes. Some of the women that were successful are products of women’s movements where they got the encouragement to take leadership roles, for example ward nine councillor Nyaradzo Madzikura is a product of Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe,” Guzha said.
Ronah Masocha, who cruised to Civic Centre on a women’s quota ticket, promised to push for the re-opening of Mkoba One Clinic maternity wing and also to attend to water issues to ease the burdens on women and girls.
“As a representative of women who understands the plight of women, I am going to push for the re-opening of Mkoba One maternity wing because it breaks my heart when women walk long distances to Mkoba 13 clinic and also I expect to push again on the provision of water provision,”said Masocha.
Meanwhile, former ward 13 councillor Alderwoman Catherine Mhondiwa said women should always speak out on issues affecting them.
“I am happy for the women who made it. Now it’s your time to make noise. Let your voices be heard in full council meetings and keep pushing for women issues,” she said.