By Staff Reporter
Twenty-five-year-old Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillor Shantel Chiwara was Tuesday elected Masvingo mayor, becoming the city’s first female to take charge of the troubled local authority’s affairs.
But what was fascinating is not just the election of a female mayor but her young age which has drawn mixed reactions from Zimbabweans.
Chiwara, who is Masvingo Ward 2 councillor, beat Zanu PF’s Sengerai Manyanga – Ward 10 – after polling 11 votes out of 13.
Her victory in council chambers came after she posted an emphatic victory in the 23 August harmonised election in which she garnered 2 287 votes.
Her close challenger Benson Hwata of Zanu PF polled 1 304, while MDC-T’s Anderson Paradza got 21 with DUZ’s Charity Shoko getting 17.
The mayoress who holds a Master’s Degree and works at a local bank as a teller.
She will be deputised by Ward 5 Councillor Daniel Mberikunashe who won with nine votes.
Chiwara takes over from Collen Maboke, a lawyer who lost the Masvingo Urban Member of Parliament race to CCC’s Advocate Martin Mureri during the August elections.
While her election has been hailed as another victory in the advancement of women in leadership positions, some felt she was still too young to withstand the rigours of running council affairs which need both intellect and experience.