Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
WARD Two councillor Josiah Makombe is the new mayor of Gweru after being elected unopposed while Clr Cleopas Shiri will deputise him after also sailing through unopposed.
Gweru councillors were on Tuesday sworn into office and the two were elected after the ceremony.
Clrs Makombe and Shiri (Ward 5) were MDC-Alliance party choices following interviews which were conducted in Harare last month, leading to their endorsement by fellow elected councillors.
After interviews conducted by the party, Clr Makombe was selected by the opposition party ahead of four other candidates former Mayors Hamutendi Kombayi and Charles Chikozho (Ward 10), businessman Clr Albert Chirau (Ward 11) and Clr Shiri.
In his acceptance speech, Clr Makombe said he had a mammoth task of rescuing the city from poor service delivery and engaging stakeholders to assist in council affairs.
He said his council would be transparent, responsive and act in good faith for the benefit of residents.
“We will work hard to improve service delivery. We will continue to provide residential and commercial stands as we work on attracting more investment into the city. In that vein, we will avail more vending bays and also work on improving council workers conditions of service,” said Clr Makombe.
“We need to have street lights in the City and in the residential areas and that’s our vision. We want to have a smart City to ensure that the citizens of Gweru enjoy and are proud to be from Gweru.”
The new Mayor said a condolence message to residents who lost their relatives to the typhoid pandemic adding that more needs to be done to improve the quality of water.
“All the problems that we have in this city should be addressed as quickly as possible. As you know we have problems of roads, problems of water. We also have a typhoid outbreak and my condolences to families that lost their loved ones. We have to make sure we address that. We also have a problem with refuse collection,” he said.
Councillors who took the oath of office administered by town clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza are Clrs Kombayi, Doubt Ncube (Ward 3), Martin Chivhoko (Ward 4), Godfrey Giwa (Ward 6), Gideon Mugariri (Ward 7), Notal Dzika (Ward 8), Edson Kurebwaseka (Ward 9), Japhter Zvidzai (Ward 12), Catherine Mhondiwa (Ward 13), Dan Ndaba (Ward 14), Trust Chineni (Ward 15), Tawanda Magidi (Ward 16), Farai Muza (Ward 17), John Manyundwa (Ward 18).