AFTER resoundingly winning the August 2023 elections, Melody Chingarande became the deputy mayor of the City of Kwekwe but little did she know that her happiness was short-lived as Sengezo Tshabangu, the imposter Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) secretary-general, recalled her.
This was the second time in her political career that Chingarande was being recalled after she suffered the same fate at the hands of MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora.
Tshabangu recalled Kwekwe mayor Henry Madzorera, deputy mayor Chingarande and councillor Simon Machisvo three weeks ago.
Chingarande became the shortest-serving deputy mayor in Zimbabwe when she was recalled from council barely two weeks after her election into the position.
She was recalled by Mwonzora soon after the death of Shadreck Tobaiwa who was the deputy mayor under the MDC-Alliance ticket.
Chingarande claimed that the reason for her recall is because of her boldness and fearless character.
“The reason why I got recalled for the second time is my high level of intelligence, and stubbornness when I stand for my people who voted for me. So I was a threat especially being the only female but everyone who voted for me will re-elect me again,” Chingarande said.
Her vision was to diligently serve the people of Kwekwe, to revamp all water pipes, sewer lines, ensure the provision of clean water and the collection of refuse on stipulated days.
She admitted though that she was depressed after the recall but she had regathered strength because of the support from family and friends.
In a letter dated 13 November addressed to the Kwekwe town clerk, the acting Local Government minister, Daniel Garwe, wrote: “I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from CCC stating that the following councillors have ceased to be members for CCC party.”
In an interview Chingarande said the news was a bitter pill to swallow as her hopes had been shattered.
“This was the most frustrating, boring decision that pained me a lot and it is not easy, this is the second time this has happened. I had pinned my hopes on empowering other women when I assumed the office and lessons learnt from my story is that politics needs strong psychological support because without it you will die a premature death due to high blood pressure,” said Chingarande.
The inclusion of women in political processes remains a key element in achieving truly inclusive democracy and women must have the opportunity to exercise their political rights.
The UN says women in every part of the world continue to be largely marginalised from the political sphere, often as a result of discriminatory laws and gender stereotypes.
For Chingarande the recall is a passing phase as she is not willing to throw in the towel on her political career but to move forward.
She added that she will continue to soldier on despite the thorns in her path.
“Aluta continua. Politics runs in my blood. They thought recalling me will negatively affect me. I am there to stay and the struggle continues,” said Chingarande.
*This article was supported by the Canadian Embassy in Zimbabwe in partnership with the Centre for Public Interest Journalism (The NewsHawks)