Nyemudzai Marukutira – Zimbabwe

Nyemudzai Marukutira – Zimbabwe

Date: June 6, 2012
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I am the Vice Chair of Norton Town Council, a member of the Human Resources Committee, and Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee. I am married with 2 children. In a typical week, I meet with community members early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Complaints usually involve service delivery issues such as burst water pipes. One of my greatest achievements in the council has been the patching and resurfacing of roads. Being in an old ward, the houses are old, and as a result a lot of people did not have title deeds to their houses. This has since been rectified under my tenure.

My husband and sister recommended that I run for council, and in 2008 I decided that I would. WiPSU introduced Gender Links to the community of Norton in 2010, and that’s when I first encountered their work. I felt happy, as it seemed that finally women were being recognized. The main thing I gained from my time with Gender Links has been courage and confidence. I can speak freely and openly when addressing crowds, whereas before I was very shy.

It has not all been easy during my role in council. At one point, my husband was diagnosed with HIV. When I tested, I tested negative. Since then, I have used the experience to council and help others to come to terms with their condition. Now, people are able to come to the Norton hospital instead of having to travel to Kutama as they have had to in the past for HIV treatment. While this has been an improvement for the community, the journey was a difficult one for me.

My role in human resources has also brought many hardships. Disciplinary hearings are always difficult to get through, and many people have negative statements afterwards. Gender Links has taught me to be courageous, and stick to my guns. Throughout my tenure, that is exactly what I have done. However, it would have been impossible without the support of Gender Links. It is support from my community members, sister and husband, that have allowed me to overcome many obstacles.

After a second term in my current portfolio, I hope to run for mayor. Through my position, and my passion for the people in my community, I want to overcome the scourge of HIV and AIDs, by focussing on orphans and vulnerable children. Gender Links groomed me and made me into a proper leader. It has helped me serve the community more effectively.


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