Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
HARARE Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni will not seek re-election at the end of his current term, abandoning the capital in a chaotic state.
Clr Manyenyeni’s tenure as mayor was characterised by failure to provide basic services like water, refuse collection or road repairs.
When he took office four years ago, he vowed to turn around the fortunes of the Sunshine city. In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Clr Manyenyeni blamed his handicap on politics.
“Our failure to move because of political leg-irons must be separated from aspects of management, lethargy, capacity, competence and conflict. Revenues must improve and sound financial management must be key,” he said.
“The quality and performance of the resident and ratepayer must improve. I will always be grateful for this opportunity to serve my city at its weakest.
“Thank you all for the support so far. I promise to keep my heart in the right place for the remainder of my tour of duty. It is exactly four years today and less than ten months is left. I arrived at Town House buoyed by a spiritual appointment and political deployment.”
Clr Manyenyeni said being not directly involved in the 2018 elections would give him the freedom to maintain his focus on business. He said the problems bedevilling Harare required a “doer-mayor” not a chairman of the board.
“There is enough pressure to sustain attacks on things that are wrong. I do have enough energy for this. Not being personally involved in the 2018 elections gives me freedom to maintain focus where I am not tethered,” he said.
“My call to be succeeded by an executive mayor must get louder. This is not about me. I will be out. I am very encouraged by the quality of aspiring mayors for our city. From the four names that I am aware of, Harare will have a good mayor come 2018.”
Clr Manyenyeni said his successor must be a unifier.
“In electing councillors for 2018, let us be driven by what is wanted in the job, not by who wants the ‘job’. It is not a job, it is a service,” he said.
Clr Manyenyeni was elected mayor for Harare in 2013 after garnering 38 of the 45 votes cast. Zanu-PF candidate Beadle Musatye Gwasira got the remaining seven votes.
MDC-T has run Harare City Council for sometime, but has failed to improve service delivery to residents despite promising a world class city by 2025.