Women's rights groups lobby for female Deputy Mayor for Bulawayo

By Amakhosikazi Media Staff

Women's rights groups and gender activists seem to be pushing for the Bulawayo councillors to appoint a female Deputy Mayor for the city, following the dismissal of Tinashe Kambarami by MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa early this week. 

While the ousting, which was announced through a letter to Kambarami dated 29 October, was allegedly made to clear the way for the party's preferred candidate Mr Malandu Ncube, counsellor for ward 1, women's rights activists have started lobbying on social media and in private platforms that the MDC Alliance must instead make way within party structures for the appointment of a female Deputy Mayor. 

An NGO that works with women in political leadership, the Women's Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) put out a statement stating that the campaign for a female Deputy Mayor for Bulawayo had been revived. 

                                                                                                

Writing on their website and Facebook page, WILD stated that the call for Kambarami to step down "...has presented an opportunity for the resuscitation of the campaign which was waged before the contentious election of the current Mayor and his deputy". 

Also speaking on the organisation's weekly radio show hosted on Skyz Metro FM, losing candidate for Makhokhoba Constituency Thembelihle Sibanda said the development was an opportunity for a woman leader to take up the position. 

Voicing similar sentiments on various social media platforms, women from different walks of life also called for the consideration by the MDC Alliance for a woman Deputy Mayor. 

"I wish MDC-Alliance to have a female deputy Mayor for Byo hatshi ubumbulu lathi omama savota sifuna lokubusa" (We do not want nonsense, we voted too and want leadership positions)." said freelance journalist Annahstacia Ndlovu.

Similar debates were waged in some Bulawayo Whats App groups with organisations calling for a collective petition and other campaigns and strategies to support a push for the MDC Alliance to appoint a female Deputy Mayor in Bulawayo. However consensus on the issue was not reached as some institutions felt this was not the mandate of the collectives nor the core business of their institutions.

Ms Monica Lubimbi, one of the longest serving councillors in the BCC has in the past expressed an interest in being Mayor for the city of Bulawayo. However, nothing has yet been said by the MDC Alliance on the issue because Tinashe Kambarami has also not yet confirmed if he is indeed stepping down from his position as Deputy Mayor or not.