Pinias Mushayavanhu – Zimbabwe

Pinias Mushayavanhu – Zimbabwe

Date: July 1, 2015
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I am the chairman of Ruwa Town Council. I do public relations on behalf of the council. I communicate information to the council, and recommend by-laws, resolutions, and measures which, in my opinion, may assist the peace, order, and good government of the town in relation to the powers conferred on the council by any Act. I establish standing committees for matters I consider would be better regulated and managed by means of committee, and I appoint members of council to committees. The proceedings of a committee are subject to the approval of council, unless executive or administrative powers have been delegated. I also act as the chairman at council meetings and I am the principle representative of council.

I studied political science, which cultivated an interest in politics in me. I worked in the Public Service in the Ministry of Local Government for ten years, followed by the Ministry of Defense and then worked at the State House. In 2005, I left formal employment and went into full time politics and I joined the opposition party. Apart from a degree in political science, I also hold a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Zimbabwe, and also a degree in International Resources and Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in addition to my diploma in Rural Development planning.

I first met Gender Links when they came to introduce themselves here at the council in 2009. That was the first time I met them. I have come to discover that Gender Links is a good organization, because I thought at first that it was there to promote women’s issues only. I have found out that it promotes gender balance in any aspect of life. I have no negative experiences with the organization; they are all positive.

As the mayor and chair of the council, I am trying to make a difference concerning gender issues. We are working to create an environment which encourages women working in positions which were previously dominated by men. Our council now has female workers; not only that, but we also have women holding higher positions. For example, the chief executive officer at this council is a woman. There are also various departments in the council which are now being headed by women.

Another difference that I have made is that of facilitating the availability of a gender policy. It’s still in draft form and is awaiting adoption. I am also trying to find a way in which the council can allocate stands equally. Only male names are found on the housing waiting list, a scenario which has left many women complaining and bitter. I have also tried to encourage females at this institution to upgrade themselves academically so that they can have a chance to go for the better posts in the council.

Gender Links has done a lot to change our attitudes towards gender issues. I have since discovered that it’s good to work with women since my first encounter with Gender Links. I do believe very much that I have a role to play in these gender issues. I am now working towards creating a balance between men and women, so that they should participate in life equally, while also at the same time taking merit into consideration. Being a politician you are there to influence positive transformation.

As a politician I am here to influence. My behavior towards gender issues must influence the whole of the council so that everyone knows that gender equity is now vital in this environment. As a mayor, I would like to see stands being allocated to women also. It is my hope also to see every department within the council achieving gender parity. My council should have a lead role in these gender issues as I saw that we were lagging behind as a council when we attended the National Summit in Kadoma in 2012. Gender issues must be put at the forefront; that is, in the budget, and equal representation in the council committees. Also these women should be thrust into jobs which were dominated by men such as waste collection.


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