… vows to fight for justice
NEWLY elected Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) councillor for Ward 4 in Karoi, Rhoda Jaji, who replaced her late husband, Lavender Chiwaya, says she will fight for women and social justice after her swearing-in.
Rhoda Jaji (35) was recently sworn in as a Karoi town councillor. She is the only female councillor in Karoi.
Her husband Chiwaya was in August 2020 found dead under mysterious circumstances, with postmortem results confirming he was assaulted, amid suspicion that his killing was politically motivated.
Two years later, his wife Jaji won the council seat following the 26 March by-elections, defeating Zanu PF’s Solomon Chikwerengwe. She was sworn in this week, vowing to pursue Chiwaya’s vision.
ln welcoming Jaji to council, Karoi Town Council chairperson Abel Matsika challenged her to represent women’s rights on governance and social development issues in the farming town.
‘‘We are happy that you are coming here as a female councillor and it gives us all the great gesture that you will represent women and girl rights in social development,” the council leader said.
Hurungwe district’s acting development coordinator Friend Ngirazi said elected councillors must be accountable to citizens.
“Whenever councillors are elected, they must respect citizens who voted them into power. Be guided accordingly as you are representing the ordinary citizens and being their voices in the boardroom. The citizens are your judges. Take note that it is good to humble yourselves and be with the same communities that voted you into office,” Ngirazi said.
A representative of Karoi residents, Edison Karichi, challenged her to draw inspiration from her late husband Chiwaya.
“The late Chiwaya was a man of the people and could visit every household without favour. I appeal to you to take a leaf from what he did in the ward,” Karichi said.
Chiwaya was the opposition’s Hurungwe district chairperson at the time of his death.
Jaji said she was looking forward to helping residents to get better service delivery.
“l am coming into council business to represent women’s aspirations and fulfill their own dreams and goals on social development.”
“Though l am new in public office, I don’t anticipate to be abused by anyone because am a woman. I must be treated equally like any of the male counterparts as l discharge my duties as a public officer,” she said.
“I am happy that I will be finishing off my late husband Chiwaya’s term of office. It’s my wish that I remain close to residents and carry out my duties effectively through better communication with residents. I am hopeful that all councillors will help me as a new member.”
Karoi town had all the 10 wards represented by male councillors, with Zanu PF having six while the opposition had four.