Date: May 21, 2014
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MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE IN MY WORK AS LEADER It was on the first of August when results for harmonised elections were announced for my ward. When I was told that I had won elections as a councillor I was ecstatic. This was a major achievement in my life and it was time for me to show that I am a woman of Integrity, excellence and able to drive change. Mid August the Town Secretary asked us to come and tour the council and meet the staff. I was very excited though there was a tension with my colleagues. We had lunch together and other officers. We were briefed on how the council operates. A month later induction was done. Even after induction I still felt that my presence was not acknowledged as someone from the opposition. Life was a bit hectic for me after elections. I nearly resigned as a councillor but it came to my mind that I am a leader who can make a change. In Beitbridge there are twenty three constituencies. Out of twenty three constituencies I was the only one who won election from MDCT. I was faced with a tough challenge. I knew I was not going to have a voice in chambers. I had no option but to strategise a plan which was going to bring me close to my colleagues. The way forward was to be friendly to them and study their characters, interests and their weaknesses. Good part of it in urban council we are six, three man and three women. Women had once attended some gender meetings, so they were a bit flexible. With men I could only discuss business and I could tell they never wanted to be associated with me. At this stage I knew I was powerless. I remember one counsellor said to me, “Party yedu ndiyo irikutonga pano”. I kept quite I never challenged them. There is a quote I like which says WIN THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS, NEVER THROUGH ARGUMENTS. In January I noticed some changes. I was now getting along with them. Even if I say my views they would listen. I knew I had managed to inspire them to understand me. I was moving from one strategy to another to get their attention for me to gain authority, influence and control. It is all leaders priority to be influential and to have control. I started talking to my fellow lady colleagues that as ladies we should stand for each other. We agreed. In every decision making they would consult me also.

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