HARARE MAYOR SAYS HE IS QUITTING PUBLIC OFFICE
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni is not going to run for public office again when his term expires, vowing he will continue trying to make a difference on the issues he cares about.
He said he turned down an offer by his opposition MDC party to run either for a National Assembly seat in Mbare, Southerton or Mt Pleasant.
He said he was financially crippled by his current position and would want to redirect his energies towards working for his family.
“As an active politician, it’s over. I am done with public office,” Manyenyeni said in an interview with the Daily News.
“But I am not done with working for my country because I literally believe that our country’s future is at stake.”
Manyenyeni said he lost his $10 000 a month job at a top insurance firm to earn just a $1 200 monthly allowance as mayor.
“I have also learnt that to be mayor of this city, one needs to be very sound, financially. I have been helped by a few friends here and there to make ends meet,” he said.
He said it was time to re-join the private sector.
“It was a request from faceless party youths which I rejected, but they promised to come back. I have been approached also for my Mt Pleasant and Southerton seats. My position has consistently been that I have done my bit of community work and national service and it’s time for me to work for the family again,” he said.
He said his mayorship reign has greatly degraded his public standing.
“It’s very humbling to still have some residual goodwill,” he said.
He said he has already started taking necessary steps towards life after public life.
“I have already accepted two board appointments in the private sector and have been invited for two other board appointments. These are being finalised,” he said, flatly declining to reveal the identity of the concerned corporates “for the better of shareholders”.
He livened up when asked about prospects of future national assignment subsequent to his impending political sabbatical.
“I have wished for a diplomatic assignment. I don’t rule out a future full-time executive job. A non-political community role also makes a good proposition, so it is as fluid as you can tell,” he said.
His tenure has been punctuated by daily public ridicules due to deteriorating service delivery, most notably the shortage and poor quality of potable water which the municipality sells to an estimated four million population, inclusive of those dwelling in satellite towns such as Chitungwiza, Norton and Ruwa.