The curtain has finally come down on outgoing Masvingo Mayor Hurbert Fidze’s five year term in public office but the man goes with pride of being one of the most outstanding individuals with excellent communication skills, ever to walk in the corridors of power at the civic center.
He was undoubtedly the most visible councilor amongst the ten elected officials in the outgoing council (not taking anything away from the rest) as despite his busy schedule Fidze would manage to engage residents and articulate council issues at different platforms, from funerals, weddings and many other social gatherings, a art he mastered which made critics liken him to a real servant leader.
Zimbabweans are now living in age of technological advancement, were social media is dominating particularly the Whatsapp platform and Fidze took advantage of it and saw it as a vehicle to engage resident and respond to challenges facing the city.He was first introduced to whatsapp community platforms by Wezhira Community Radio back in August 2013 and has never looked back.
One of the main characteristics that the city will surely will miss about Fidze was his swift response in explaining to rate payers each time council fails to pump water or where there is a delay in garbage collection in residential areas or any other service delivery related issue.
His public relations skills was evidenced on Sunday when the city woke up to dry taps and residents took it to Whatsapp groups venting their anger on the situation, but despite Fidze slowly kissing the mayorship post goodbye, he swiftly responded and explained that there was a pipe burst in Pangolin which had affected water supplies in several residential areas within Masvingo and water would be restored within an hour.
The response made Whatsapp especially on Wezhira Live chats and the local watchdog, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) group kept him busy, with participants acknowledging the excellent debates that the out going mayor had with the Masvingo residents in the past five years, towards the improvement of service delivery.
Some even went to the extent of saying there will be none like Fidze, and the shoes he left will be too big to fit for the yet to elected new mayor.
MURRA spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba described the outgoing mayor as a professional par excellence whose service will be surely missed in council chambers and by the residents .
‘The relationship was good he was approachable and we engaged him quite well through out his tenure and this was positive in improving service delivery.
“We will miss him a lot he was professional,” Mtimba said.
It is not by chance that Masvingo city council during the tenure of Fidze the city managed to receive the following awards and runner-up awards include the Most Improved Service Delivery Local Authority, 2016 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Medal in Civic Participation Category, Inaugural Public Sector Management Award for Most Improved Service Delivery Local Authority Category for 2015, 2016 Financial Management Award of Excellence in Financial Turn Around of the year, 2016 Financial Management Award of Excellence in Revenue Collection, Credit Control and Risk Management First Runner Up; 2016 Financial Management Award of Excellence in Overall Best Financial Management Second Runner Up; 2016 Chief Executive Officer of the Year Category 2nd Runner Up awarded to Town Clerk Adolf Gusha; 2016 Project Best Practice – Governance Category 1stPrize in Promoting Women Participation in Gender Budgeting; 2016 Project Best Practice – Centre of Excellence 1st Prize in Gender Mainstreaming; certificate of Excellence for recognising in Community Engagement; Outstanding Local Government Leader of the Year 2017 Winner; Outstanding Accounting, Auditing and Investment Leader of the Year 2017 1st Runner Up and Continuous Participation in Driver of the Year Competitions.