Gutu fit for mayoral task: Masunda

HARARE - Outgoing Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has pledged his full support for mayoral candidate Obert Gutu.

Masunda said he will ensure smooth transition and would be available whenever the new council needs help on how best to run Zimbabwe’s capital.

“I would like to offer my heartiest congratulations to my learned friend, Obert Chaurura Gutu, on his election as the next mayor of Harare,” Masunda said.

“It goes without saying that he and his team of 19 returning and 27 new councillors will get 100 percent support from me in their quest to provide the much-needed services to all the stakeholders, across the political divide, within Greater Harare,” he said in e-mailed responses.

Masunda was appointed mayor of Harare in 2008 after Emmanuel Chiroto withdrew following the gruesome murder of his wife in the run-up to the June 2008 presidential run-off polls.

Despite not being an active member of the MDC, Masunda together with 45 elected MDC councillors and one from Zanu PF, fought hard to eradicate a cholera outbreak which had devastated the city.

Masunda, together with the elected councillors ensured that water provision in Harare improved from 200 mega litres per day in 2008 to 600 mega litres per day by 2009.

Masunda served as co-president of the United Cities and Local Governments (the global association of mayors and regional governors) while he was awarded the coveted UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour in Naples, Italy last year.

He is currently serving on the UN-Habitat’s Advisory Groups on Gender Issues as well as the biennial World Urban Forum.

During his tenure, Masunda engaged the city of Munich, for assistance in the health sector, which resulted in city clinics getting free medication and funding for 12 months.

He also convinced the power couple, Bill and Melinda Gates to fund a housing project in Harare to the tune of $5 million through their charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The project, if completed, will ensure that at least 100 families get accommodation in the city’s high density suburb of Dzivaresekwa.

As mayor for Harare, Masunda ensured the procurement of 27 refuse trucks for the capital which before the inception of the inclusive government in 2009, was reeling from garbage.

As he departs from the “hot seat” and heads back to the law chambers at Old Mutual Building, Masunda leaves behind myriad of challenges which Gutu, a former deputy minister of Justice in the just collapsed coalition government will have to deal with as a matter of urgency.

But Masunda believes Gutu could be equal to the task given the support he will get from the residents and the MDC party.

“As seasoned legal practitioners, mayor-elect Gutu and I will ensure that there is a seamless transition from my administration to his administration,” he said.

Gutu was chosen to be Harare mayor  by the party’s top decision-making body, the standing committee, which is headed by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The MDC has 39 elected councillors while Zanu PF has seven.

Besides being mayor for Harare, Gutu will also chair the provincial council which comprises of elected National Assembly members, Senators and councillors from the entire province.

Gutu will be deputised by Kambuzuma councillor, Thomas Muzuva who was last week chosen to deputise the mayor.

As a parting short, Masunda paid tribute to the outgoing council and outgoing prime minister for their contribution in improving service delivery in Harare.

“I would also like to place on record my sincere gratitude to Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and the mainstream MDC for affording me the opportunity to serve as mayor of Harare from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2013,” he said.

“Our endeavours, with 45 MDC councillors, one Zanu PF councillor  as well as 11 special interest councillors, to deliver services, against all sorts of formidable odds, to a hub of over four  million people within Greater Harare, did not go unnoticed,” he said.

Comments (4)

Thank you Mayor Masunda for a job well-done under difficult circumstances, especially with the irritating minister Chombo who tried to make your job impossible. Your job has not yet ended: give advice to the new ones. One day you may be called back by public demand, to continue the excellent work.

Chenjerai Hove - 1 September 2013

Surely Harare belongs to MDC and we will continue to be behind our president, Dr. R.M Tsvangirai. Lets shine Harare.

Jabu - 1 September 2013

@chenjerai- Being so far away from home, you are hardly qualified to say job well done to Masunda..what informs this arrongance. Asking people to walk on telephone wires then asking them to sing Kumbaya my lord is the stuff that causes revolutions, kind sir. The shambolic service delivery under Masunda is legendary coupled with mad salaries he paid the top executive of council for doing nothing..add to this a mad in god knows where billing department which sucked figures out of its rear thus compromising collections as most of the residents found these figures shocking on one extreme and obscene on the other. No thanks Chenjerai keep these kind of half penny dyed in the wool commentary to yourself, This is a family newspaper for none of this masterbatory nonsense..if you please. I still mantain its a toss up who was the worst mayor for the city between Solomon Tavengwa, Makwavarara and Masunda..Personally I believe Masunda has his nose in front ref the above.

gutter poet - 1 September 2013

gutter poet, did you see the refuse trucks? when did potholes start emerging in our roads?

morgan dube - 1 September 2013

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