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Outgoing Masvingo mayor Fidze leaves office head raised high

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By Upenyu Chaota

MASVINGO— History will judge him as the greatest communicator of all time, the man who demystified the mayoral post through continuous social media engagements with residents and the man of the people. Councillor Hubert Fidze is arguably the best mayor in the country and to ever seat on the prestigious chair at the Civic Centre.

An official with the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa, Munyaradzi Bidi, said it would be inaccurate to talk about the history of Masvingo without mentioning the name of Fidze.

“We came to know about Masvingo through this man. He has carried the city on his shoulders and it would be amiss to write about Masvingo without mentioning his name.

“There may be bad things about him that we do not know but I am glad they stay buried and we get to know the good only,” said Bidi.

Fidze graciously served the Masvingo community and his open door policy saw the city council bagging various accolades during his tenure of office.

To the residents he was a father, to resident organisations he was a good listener and to journalists he was a good friend.

The outgoing Ward 6 councillor could not seek reassignment as he was vilified by members of his own party, MDC Alliance.

Consequently, the MDC Alliance lost their traditional council seat to Zanu PF after people protested that their preferred candidate, Fidze, had been rigged by his own party.

Having lost the local government primaries, Fidze tried his luck in the parliamentary primaries after national executive member Takanayi Mureyi withdrew his candidature but lost again.

Throughout his term, Fidze and his other MDC Alliance councillors had been subjected to disciplinary hearings by the party’s Masvingo district executive on corruption allegations that were never proven.

But this did not stop Fidze from delivering to the expectations of residents as he made himself available to give answers when needed.

Whenever there is an emergency in the city, Fidze would make himself available to explain the situation and the way forward.

Fidze is in almost every WhatsApp group in the city where he constantly updates residents on water, refuse collection and rates issues.

Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said it would be difficult for Masvingo to get another mayor like Fidze.

“He is second to none, simply the best we ever had or possibly could ever get. He was a great listener and harnessed the power of social media to drive his term and keep in touch with residents,” said Mtimba.

Masvingo based newspaper, TellZim News, news editor Moses Ziyambi described Fidze as the greatest communicator of all time who almost always made information easily available.

“The media fraternity will miss Fidze. He was not as difficult as other leaders are when it comes to releasing information. He saved numbers of journalists and if you leave him a missed call, he would call you back.

“He literally removed a door to his office and made all journalists feel very welcome,” said Ziyambi.  

Outgoing Masvingo Urban Zanu PF Ward 10 councillor Lovemore Mufamba said Fidze was rational leader who made compromises for the good of residents.

“Fidze was a good leader and it was really an honour to work with him. I wish him well in all his life’s endeavours.

“Masvingo has lost a great mayor,” said Mufamba.

During Fidze’s tenure, Masvingo City Council bagged the Most Improved Service Delivery Local Authority, 2016 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Medal in Civic Participation Category Inaugural Public Sector Management Award for Most Improved Service Delivery Local Authority for 2015, 2016 Financial Management Award of Excellence in Revenue Collection, Credit Control and Risk Management First Runner-up among other awards.

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