Cletus Mushanawani – The Manica Post

News Editor

Mutare town clerk Mr Joshua Maligwa, who succumbed to Covid-19 on Tuesday, was described as a visionary leader who wanted to see the city reclaiming its status as the Jewel of the East.

Mr Maligwa, who was at the helm of the local authority for the past three years, was buried at his rural home in Mutasa under World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended safety guidelines.

Manicaland provincial development coordinator, Mr Edgars Seenza, expressed shock over Mr Maligwa’s death.

“We never anticipated that Mutare would lose its town clerk, Mr Maligwa so suddenly. He was working very hard for the development of the city. He had initiated a number of projects. Some were already finished. Of note is the Dangamvura Water Project, which is already in progress. This big project will help to solve the water problems in Dangamvura and its environs. We hope whoever will take over will ensure the completion of this project.

“We want to thank him for his dedication to duty. Mutare and Manicaland will never be the same without a dedicated servant leader like Mr Maligwa. We want to offer our condolences to the Maligwa family and Mutare at large for this sad loss,” said Mr Seenza.

Mutare Mayor Councillor Blessing Tandi was at a loss for words.

“As a local authority, right from policymakers, the entire management and the shop-floor, we are devastated by Mr Maligwa’s death.

“The passing on of Mr Maligwa has dealt us a huge blow given the momentum that we had so far attained in turning around the state of service delivery.

“Indeed, he devoted his entire energy and dedicated his intellectual prowess and capacity to make a difference at the Civic Centre.

“We have been robbed of a giant and his three-year stint at the helm of the City of Mutare brought major transformation. We shall forever cherish the good working relationship and the professional approach and dedication to duty he exhibited during his tenure as the town clerk. Mutare and Manicaland at large have lost an eminent Local Government practitioner of repute whose impact were felt beyond the borders.”

Plan Infrastructure Development (PID) — the consultant and developer of Sakubva Renewal Project’s architecture and infrastructure planner, Mr Hillary Mukaratirwa, said Mr Maligwa was working tirelessly to ensure the success of the project.

“My first interaction with Mr Maligwa was when he was still employed at Redcliff. He was a guru in local governance issues and it did not come as a surprise when he took up the Sakubva Urban Renewal Project with the vigour he showed up to his last breadth.

“Through his dedication to duty, the project was granted national project status and we will go an extra mile to ensure that his dream is realised.

“Mr Maligwa was a bridge between the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and MDC councillors as he ensured that both parties enjoyed a cordial working relationship. This resulted in the transformation of the city over a short space of time. He was a person who could not be pushed to do something wrong. He was always open for any discussion and would have a listening ear to other parties’ presentations. It will be difficult to find a person who will fit in his shoes,” said Mr Mukaratirwa.

United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust (UMRRT) programmes director, Mr Edson Dube, said: “Mr Maligwa was approachable and we managed to have a number of joint initiatives we executed together with Mutare City Council. As ratepayers’ representatives, we are at a loss of words. Our hope is that the city will continue with the service delivery momentum so that stakeholders get value for their money.

“We will continue engaging whoever will be at the helm of the local authority to ensure that Mutare continue on the recovery trajectory.”