Youngest Gwanda councillor Moyo ready to deliver Councillor Linda Moyo

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, [email protected]

COUNCILLOR Linda Moyo (22), a development-oriented youth from Gwanda is glad to have been awarded an opportunity to contribute to the growth of her district after being elected councillor under the women’s quota system.

Clr Moyo is the youngest female to hold the post of councillor under the Gwanda Rural District Council. She is one of seven female councillors who have assumed office under proportional representation, joining 24 other councillors, 22 males and two females who were voted into power during the recently held elections.

The Government introduced a 30 percent women’s quota system at the local government level, which was put into effect during the recently concluded election. Before that, the women’s quota was reserved for the House of National Assembly and the Senate.

In Gwanda Rural District Council two female councillors were elected out of 24 wards. Through the proportional representation system, seven more councillors were seconded into the council.

The women’s quota for local authorities is part of the Second Republic’s deliberate policies to empower women as it walks the talk of ‘‘leaving no place and no one behind’’. The Government has since extended by another 10 years the women’s quota in Parliament where an additional 60 women from the country’s 10 provinces have had their seats reserved.

Clr Moyo who is doing a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Crop Science at the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) said: “As a woman and a youth I would like to thank Government for amending the Constitution so that we can also be included in governance at local authority level. Some women have the capacity to lead and bring development to their areas but they don’t have resources to finance their campaigns. Hence, they never get a chance to be in governance,” she said.

“In my case I’m still in school and I hardly have resources to finance a campaign. People might also look down upon me considering my age and that I’m a female, which would make it difficult for me to stand against other candidates. Despite my age I have a lot to offer towards developing the nation and I’m glad that my fellow leaders have seen my zeal and potential.”

Clr Moyo, who is also the Zanu-PF Youth League provincial secretary for indigenisation, said it was important for youths to support the elderly in leadership for continuity of development. She said youths can also come up with new ideas, which can be incorporated into the national plans.

Clr Thembelihle Moyo, who was also appointed through the quota system said local authorities have always been dominated by men and it was delightful to see more women taking up council seats. She said women and young girls accounted for the majority of the country’s population and needed to be equally represented in governance. Cllr Moyo said the introduction of the quota system in local authorities will help women to spearhead issues such as child abuse, gender-based violence, availability of water, income generating projects among others.

Ward 24 councillor, Gloria Dube said empowerment for women is crucial in developing the community.

“If women are empowered the entire community will be empowered as women have a huge role to play as caregivers and providers. Now as women we will be able to be actively involved in shaping the development of our communities from grassroots level,” she said.

Ward 2 councillor, Memory Nyathi said the work being done by the Government to empower women was commendable. Clr Qinisile Nyoni from Ward 22 said she was looking forward to working with her community in order to bring about the desired development. She said she will work hard and represent the people to her level best.

Newly appointed Gwanda Rural District Council chairperson, Cllr Mphathiswa Ncube said he was glad that the establishment of councillors now has more women thanks to Government’s move to allocate a 30 percent council quota to women. He said it is important for women and the youth to be actively involved in leadership as they can bring about the much-needed development.

Clr Ncube said the quota system has given women an opportunity to be empowered and to fight stereotypes. — @DubeMatutu

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