Tendai Mahachi – Zimbabwe

Tendai Mahachi – Zimbabwe

Date: July 1, 2015
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Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, is known as the Garden City for its leafy parks and convivial ambiance. Although the economic down turn of the last few years has hit the City badly, its officials are working around the clock to restore some of its former glory. And they are coming around to the awareness that gender mainstreaming could be part of the winning strategy.

When Gender Links first made a presentation to the city management team in late 2009, most expressed skepticism, wanting to know what gender had to do with their everyday challenges of keeping the lights on, water running and city clean. But when they scored themselves using the gender and local government score card, the team came up with a dismal score of 27%. A high powered delegation, led by Harare City Council CEO Tendai Mahachi, subsequently participated in the GL Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in March 2010. The programme included a briefing by the City of Johannesburg on its gender mainstreaming programme.

On his return to Harare, Mahachi employed women drivers for street cleaning trolleys: a job previously the sole preserve of men. Harare has since joined the Centres of Excellence (COE) in Gender Mainstreaming programme. At the time of writing GL had conducted a situation analysis that revealed a range of issues in Harare that Tendai is now working on.

At policy level, the City of Harare (CoH) has been somewhat gender-responsive. The CoH was the first council that came up with a housing policy that protects women. The policy states that if one is married, you will not cede your rights unless there is mutual consent by the spouses. Even though the housing policy allows that women can be on a waiting list in their own right, what is lacking, however, is that there is no prioritisation of women in the process.

A Sexual Harassment policy exists in the CoH. It is included in one of the modules covered during the induction of councillors. In the Code of Conduct of the CoH, there are provisions there that make Sexual Harassment a disciplinary offense. However, implementation remains a challenge. There are no gender issues that have been tabled in the council agenda except the policy review made on the Sexual Harassment Policy Code of Conduct and the Housing Policy. There is a motion that was tabled and is still in draft form.

The political leaders are very much in support of gender mainstreaming. Tendai Mahachi and many other council members are using the gender and local government score card to improve their practices in all areas.



One thought on “Tendai Mahachi – Zimbabwe”

Michael Wanyama says:

Just a word of hello to Mr. Mahachi

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