In a testament to the power of resilience, Melody Chingarande has overcome countless obstacles to secure the position of Deputy Mayor of Kwekwe. Her journey is an awe-inspiring example of triumph in the face of adversity and serves as an inspiration to all.
Chingarande’s story is one of determination, hard work, and a never-give-up attitude. After being appointed as the first female Deputy Mayor a few months ago, she was recalled after just three days in the new role. However, she has bounced back, after being elected as the only female councilor she has once again made it to the mayoral position
“I was once a Deputy Mayor for three days, and I was recalled, but I managed to bounce back again as the only female Deputy Mayor. I was elected as the only female councilor in Kwekwe City Council during the elections. Gratefully we have our women’s quota system that will support us. I am grateful that I have made history as a female deputy mayor who bounced back. I am really happy about that so I am going to support women in issues to do with decision-making,” she said while speaking to this publication on the sidelines of the ceremony.
Despite facing numerous setbacks along the way, including gender biases, Chingarande remained undeterred. She continued to fight through.
As the newly appointed Deputy Mayor, Chingarande is poised to play a critical role in the transformation of Kwekwe. With the support of Dr. Madzorera, the newly appointed Mayor of Kwekwe, and the rest of the administration, she is determined to address the pressing issues that plague the city.
One of her key areas of focus will be tackling water challenges. Chingarande believes that by providing adequate portable water to everyone in the city including those places that have gone for a while without water Kwekwe can become a great city recognized across the world.
“We have noticed that there are other areas that do not have water 24/7. They do not have portable, clean water and sanitation. So this is one area that we are looking forward to working on as our first priority because water is life, without it, we will end up having outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and dysentery. So I think we should provide more water to the residents in all the areas that do not have water.
“…we are looking forward to having a better, Kwekwe City. Let us not look down upon women or look down upon young women because I am one young woman, so we should support each other. When I am wrong I expect people to freely inform me so that I correct myself. I have to value the residents and engage them, work together, come up with something great, and map the way forward for the betterment of the city. That is my vision, we should work together as a team to improve our service delivery as a team,” she said.
Additionally, Chingarande will be actively involved in promoting gender equality and empowering women within the community. Her personal journey serves as a testament to the strength and capabilities of women, and she is committed to breaking down barriers.
“…since I am already working with different women’s organization and different women’s support groups, I am going to continue working with these groups so that we try and focus on bringing women to budget meetings and any other community programs that are relevant. This will help them in decision-making processes and move out of that patriarchal society that most of us women are still part of. So I will be leading them, as an example, showing resilience.
“Furthermore, I am a netball teacher, a Physical Education teacher, trained and qualified, so I will use that to revamp sports in my community, and work with the youths, as well as our elders. With sports we can gain a lot while trying to engage them other than just telling them to show up for meetings, they do not usually like the normal meetings, but if you try, and engage them using sports, I think that will be the best. And that is when we will address them there, during sporting activities,” she said.
Zimbabwe Women Against Corruption Trust Director, Sandra Mavetere said Chingarande has always been an inspiration to other women.
“…Cllr Melody, I remember how she used to inspire young women during our term as YMF Committee Members together with Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe Gweru Chapter,” she said.
Women’s advocate Partinella Ngozo said that Chingarande deserves the post since she has shown through her dedication, and hard work that she is capable of leading.
“…well deserved appointment as Deputy Mayor. Melo’s story of resilience and determination serves as an inspiration to all of us. Her appointment as Deputy Mayor is a testament to her outstanding leadership skills, unwavering commitment, and ability to connect with people from all walks of life. I have no doubt she will make a remarkable impact in the new role, advocating for the rights of the marginalised, and bringing about meaningful change in our beloved city. Congratulations to Melody on her appointment as Deputy Mayor,” said Ngozo.