MASVINGO – With very few women taking part in politics and other leadership roles in many spheres, the election of a female councilor in ward 13 of Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) and the work she has done since taking oath of office in August shows that women can really do it.
The people of Ward 13 gave Sarah Phinias Munemo a mandate despite a number of de-campaigning likes he was said to be not from Masvingo as well as being based in Zaka.
Her detractors went on to say they could not be led by a woman worse, someone who was not from Masvingo, however, as it stands, she is making developmental strides that many people in the ward are beginning to envy.
“As a ward we are focusing on 5 pillars of development during this term, and the very first thing we have done is to bring all stakeholders aboard so that we are on the same page. This has been completed but with ongoing consultations. We have put up 3 ward community development committees (Wadco) each with 13 people, all sectors represented, the councilor and chief giving a total of 41 members,” said Munemo.
The five pillars include energy, education, agriculture, roads, water sanitation, and health.
“On energy, we have had a transformer at Chikarudzo Secondary School and is now energized and a transformer is now available at Machitenda Primary School. A power line that was damaged in 2020 has been repaired as well.
“We have successfully managed to have all our business centers Barahanga and Nekanda Business Centres and the 3 schools, Chikarudzo Primary, Gwanha Primary, and Barahanga School that are without electricity listed for consideration with REA,” said Munemo.
Munemo said as council they also want to provide clean water at all the schools in the ward with urgent attention required at Gwanha and Machitenda Primary School
“One of the critical areas when it comes to education is to have clean water at all schools. Gwanha and Machitenda Primary schools are the worst and need urgent attention. We expect to get solarised pumping systems in place in the next year.
“Mamoti is about 3.5km from Machitenda Primary School and ECD children are expected to walk to school for about 7km daily. The small room available is below standard hence we are putting up a shelter for ECD pupils.
“We already have bricks available that were sponsored by our Member of Parliament Eddison Zvobgo and me whilst the community is providing labor and other materials and the project is now on 40 percent,” she said.
Munemo also said two toilets had been completed at Barahanga, one for the toddlers and another one for the public as the whole township had only one public toilet. Another toilet has been completed at Masononga which is about 3 or 4km from Chikarudzo Primary School and ECD children walk for long distances to school in mountainous terrain.
She said efforts to provide water at Chikarudzo Primary School were futile after hitting a dry hole at 60m.
“On water, sanitation and health, our efforts were in vain as we hit a dry hole at Chikarudzo Primary School after drilling for 60mtrs,” said Munemo.
Huge development strides were also noted on the road maintenance and development with collective efforts made at Barahanga, Mupunzi Path Bridge, Janyangwa and Manunure.
“We have completed 2 small bridges at Barahanga using plough back from council and the community contributed with other materials while the Mupunzi path bridge was sponsored by our transporters ‘vezvipipi’ and it is now complete.
“At Janyangwa we got Plough back while the MP, councilor and locals contributed cement while other locals chipped in with other requirements and labour and the project is now 60percent complete.
At Manunure, council provided technical advice and the local people gave us cement while the community provided water and labour,” said Munemo.
Village Head Isaac Chikandiwa of ward 13C said Munemo had exceeded their expectations as they did not trust a woman to lead a whole community in politics and wished to have her in office in the next term.
“Munemo is doing well for the community as she is always on the lookout to create development opportunities for the people in our community. There is a road maintenance that is taking place at Manunure while potholes at Barahanga have been fixed and motorists are happy with that development.
“In Mamoti, there is a crèche that was established with the help of Munemo and a block that was built there. We are pleased with her work because we had doubts in a female leader but we are seeing that she will bring development to the community and we would like to have her as our leader in the near future.
“Munemo is also in the habit of sharing job vacancies with the youth on social media platforms and we are really grateful to have a leader who works with young people for their personal development and this is worth noting because we used not to trust women’s capabilities in such positions,” he said.
“Things have changed in our ward ever since we have selected a female councilor and we are very happy about it. Mrs Munemo brings us together to work in unity and she has unified us,” Chikandiwa said.