A COALITION of aspiring independent candidates running for local government seats in council by-elections, Peoples Own Voices (POVO), was launched in Harare amid a wide range of promises to local residents.
Harare has traditionally been dominated by the MDC-T since 2000 and the candidates said they will not tolerate intimidation.
The coalition of youthful candidates is led by #thisflag movement founder Pastor Evan Mawarire and is mainly composed of ‘social media activists’. It will be contesting mostly in low density suburbs with only two of the eleven members, Trust Luckmore Mugari (Ward 45 Kuwadzana) and Marshal Shonhai (Highfield Ward 25) eyeing high density seats.
Not as single one is running in rural Wards which are traditionally Zanu PF strongholds.
Others are Mawarire Ward 17, Mount Pleasant, Henry Munangatire (Ward 8 Highlands), Duduzile Nyirongo, (Ward 7 Avondale), Tinashe Prosper Kufahakutizwi (Ward 30, Glen View), Nyasha Grace Magumise (Ward 16 Malborough), Sam Mike Mutongerwa (Ward 9 Greendale), Esther Vongai Zimudzi (Ward 22 Hatfield), Kuwadzana, Tafadzwa Mbawa (Ward 5 Belvedere) Sarudzai Muringisi (Ward 41 Marlborough).
Spokesperson for POVO, Mawarire, told a sizeable gathering at the lush green Harare Gardens that the coalition aims to bring in new ideas on how to run the Harare municipality.
“POVO is a new idea for the citizens of Harare whose idea is to bring back Harare to being the sunshine city again,” vowed Mawarire.
“POVO is not a political party and not a mudslinging platform for existing players but a credible alternative for the residents of Harare for better service delivery.”
“First, under POVO leadership the city’s road network will be refurbished and maintained to provide safe roads for the people.”
He added, “Recreational facilities will be built and those existing will be expanded to world class standards and to also see that they are safe.”
“We will also make sure that wetlands and water bodies in the city are protected and make sure that no cultivation will be done there.”
Mawarire and his POVO team also promised to expose corruption within the Harare City Council, and to expand solar street lighting to all public and community centres; and connect the city’s many areas to WiFi.
Mawarire came to popularity when he used the social media to mobilise Zimbabweans to march for democracy and better services two years ago. He was to be arrested and charged with attempting to over throw a constitutionally elected government. He was to be acquitted at the High Court.