MDC-T’S Future Titora was an unlikely candidate to land Kwekwe’s number one office.
The Ward Two councillor, who replaced the recalled Angeline Kasipo as mayor last week, did not hold an influential position in the chamber despite being one of the veteran councillors from the original 14 Kwekwe councillors.
She is inheriting a divided council, moreso after rising following Hasipo’s recalling. Titora has however vowed to unite councillors and push through a development agenda.
“I am inheriting a divided council on party lines. We currently have three political parties in council, that is MDC-T, MDC Alliance and Zanu PF. However, I am not reading much into those divisions because the moment we are at Town House our politics dies and we become people’s representatives despite our political and ideological differences. We were elected on party basis, but the moment we were elected councillors we became councillors for everyone,” she told The NewsHawks.
“Therefore, residents look up to us for service delivery. As a mayor, I am a mayor for all. Our first task is to unite council so that we speak with one voice and have a common vision.”
She said it was also important for councillors and residents to work together if her vision is to fulfilled.
“I have a vision to see a transformed city of Kwekwe but the question is: How do we achieve such a city? We first and foremost need to agree that Kwekwe is not owned by an individual. We thrive in Kwekwe as a collective.
The first point is to bridge the gap between council and residents. There has been mistrust between council and residents and that is going to change as we will be engaging residents more,” she said.
“As councillors, we are going to transform our city through the formulation of people policies, but we don’t work in isolation, we work with policy implementers, who in this case is management. Furthermore, as mayor the cornerstone of my leadership will be a demand for accountability and transparency in council operations. It’s not going to be business as usual.”
The 55-year-old veteran MDC-T politician said it was God who saw her prevail over MDC-Alliance councillor Charles Juta.
“The elections to the post of mayor were highly contested and many people in the chamber were eyeing the position,” she said
Individuals who were tipped to land the post included the youthful
Mercy Ranga, who was however not nominated and also councillor Silas Mukaro.
Titora, considered by many aas a backbencher, shocked many when she initially nominated herself for the top post alongside Councillor Ranga before Kwekwe human resources manager Athinus Chidzurira indicated one could not nominate themselves as it was against the rules.
It took a single nomination from her allies in MDC-T to face off with Juta in the tightly contested election before she sailed through in the second round, following a tie in the first round of voting.
“It was God who just pushed me on that day to stand up and believe in myself. I heard an inner voice which told me that I can do it. And I am humbled by the support I got from fellow councillors who believed in me,” she said.
Despite the electoral euphoria, her ward has since labelled her a sellout for ditching MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa for his political nemesis Douglas Mwonzora in 2019.
Titora was even denied an opportunity to speak at a funeral in her ward recently by MDC Alliance supporters who went on to heckle her and told her they did not recognise her as their councillor.
She laughed off the accusation of being a sellout.
“When I joined president Mwonzora, I was driven by the desire to follow constitutionalism. We cannot purport to fight for democracy while at the same time we don’t respect constitutionalism. I am a firm believer of constitutionalism. I was harrased by my political opponents here in Kwekwe because of my political beliefs. I have been heckled. I am not in any way a sellout, but a constitutionalist. My conscience is very clear,” she said.
Despite divisions, Titora says she is confident of overcoming challenges, pinning her hopes on her religious faith.
“When I entered politics in 2002, it was based on a desire to see change in our community. As a woman I said to myself I have a role to play and contribute towards the development of my community and my party. I believed that it’s possible for us to bring about change democratically in our country, that’s why I joined Morgan Tsvangirai,” she said.
Her first election to council was in 2013 before she was re-elected in 2018.
“It shows that the electorate now believes in the leadership of women. My predecessor was a woman, I am also a woman and I want to leave a mark,” she said, adding that Kwekwe City is run by women.
She joins other influential women at Kwekwe Town House, namely acting town clerk Lucia Mkandla, finance director Rejoice Dandira and former director of health Mary Muchekeza. — STAFF WRITER.
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