Masvingo City Council was among many local authorities throughout the country to have arranged the inauguration for the recently elected Councillors to take an oath of office to serve people today, Friday 8th of September 2023 at the Civic centre offices.
The swearing in ceremony was observed by the District development Officer, Acting Provincial Director for provincial Affairs and Devolution, hordes of community members, sector departments, political parties to be represented in the Council, religious fraternity, and all structures of the locality and members of the media.
As legislated the session was chaired by the Town Clerk, Eng Edward Mukaratirwa who facilitated the process.
In local governance, providing quality and timely services is not the only thing that matters. Professionalism and good appearance is fundamental. The first impression is either the best or worst and lasting impression the client can get. It is therefore under this premise that City of Masvingo’s middle management underwent a three day training in business etiquette and professional grooming conducted by LACH consultants from the 8th of August to the 10th of August 2023 at Flamboyant Hotel.
The aim of the workshop was to empower Council’s middle management with effective communication skills, endow staff with skills for exquisite customer service, build appropriate professional and specialized demenours and behaviors demanded by business etiquette as per the Council’s code of conduct.
Areas covered include, business etiquette, communication skills, professionalism, image management. Under the team building exercises, participants were exposed to the importance of effective communication skills, importance of working as one team with a vision, staying in lanes not overstepping, effective listening skills and unity.
Under the professional grooming and deportment, understanding the professional dress code was also underscrored.
The balance of the workshop consisted of interactive groups and plenary discussions. Workshop participants identified several key contextual factors that unpacked contemporary issues in relation to Corporate governance.
The workshop was capped by the Town Clerk’s remarks. Eng Edward Mukaratirwa, City of Masvingo’s Town Clerk underscrored the need for coordination when executing duties, identifying sources of conflicts and build working teams in the process for effective service delivery and employees’ deliverables.
‘I urge each and every participant to use the basics from this workshop to become relevant. I also hope that from this workshop we will be able to come with better solutions that can work for Council. Much hope is that everyone here has been equiped well enough to execute their mandates effectively’, he said.
City of Masvingo has appointed Mr. Simbarashe. W Mandishona to the Director of Housing and Social Services post on substantive basis.
Mr Mandishona brings a wealth of experience to the city having worked as acting Director of Housing and Social Services (City of Masvingo) from 1 June 2022 to 31st of July 2023, Deputy Director of Housing and Social Services (City of Masvingo) from April 2011 to 30 May 2022, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Services (Marondera Municipality) from January 2004 to March 2011, Acting Chief Executive Officer Runde Rural District Council from January 2001 to December 2003, Projects and Planning Officer (Runde Rural District Council) from July 1998 to December 2000, Planning Officer, Department of Rural Development Gweru – Midlands Province from July 1995 to June 1998.
Having worked in various local authorities spearheading development Mr Mandishona has vast experience in town planning and housing and estate management.
In terms of qualifications, Mr Mandishona holds Bachelor of Science (Honours) Rural and Urban Planning with University of Zimbabwe, Master of Science Degree in Strategic Management with Chinhoyi University of Technology and Certificates in Personnel Training and Labour, and Labour Relations.
Once again, His Worship, the Mayor, Cllr C. Maboke, Cllrs, Town Clerk and Management would like to congratulate Mr. Mandishona on his new appointment as the substantive Director of Housing and Social Services and wish him success in office.
The City of Masvingo, Fire and Rescue Services have initiated the roll out of an innovative fire prevention campaign code named ‘Fire is Everyone’s Fight’ as the fire season approaches.
One of the key messages illustrates the dangers of people starting uncontrolled fires and the need for everyone’s involvement in curbing the needless veld fires and disasters like air pollution so often caused by this hazardous behavior. In addition to this, fire and rescue services contacts are being distributed in the community.
The Fire is Everyone’s Fight approach
The approach of the ‘Fire is Everyone’s Fight’ campaign emphasises collective action with cooperative efforts from various sectors such as the fire and rescue services and health services. The approach further emphasises prevention – its starting point is that fires can be prevented and everyone has a role to play in ensuring that they are prevented and managed.
The collaboration recognises the power of partnership as a critical means of marketing and delivering accurate and consistent fire safety messages into the community. This will be accomplished using a number of strategies, such as sharing information, joint development of targeted messaging and implementing multi-level behavior modification interventions.
By leveraging the fire prevention campaign, efforts will help the diverse members of our society own and take action to reduce their own personal risk of fire.
Today, the 9th of June 2023, City of Masvingo through its Health Services Department conducted an employee wellness exercise at Civic Centre offices as part of its traditional staff wellness initiative programme.
The programme which was designed with a vision to create awareness among employees on the importance of health seeking behavior and as an important step in improving the health and productivity of employees will be done on a weekly basis forthwith.
The staff wellness programme is conducted as part of broader efforts by Council to ensure a healthy community. Considering the improvements made to the health and well-being of a work-place, and the amount of time spent at the workplace, it makes sense to foster workplace wellness programs. Employees wellness program positively affect the productivity output of team members.
The City of Masvingo is conducting a Client Satisfaction survey targeting residents, ratepayers, business community, potential investors and other stakeholders’ perceptions and options of the local authority. The findings will be used as a reference in prioritizing areas for improvement within Council.
The survey will feed into the City’s strategic plan with the aim to also improve on service delivery.
The survey will update the state of Masvingo service delivery report.
Some of the questions posed are: ‘Is there a correlation between billing and service delivery? , The City of Masvingo employees are quick to respond to complaints? Was your query or complaint responded to your satisfaction?
This is also an opportunity to raise awareness on anti-littering, vandalism of Council infrastructure and sensitisation on the importance of having functional water meters, where to report faults and the just launched City of Masvingo digital services.
City of Masvingo’s technocrats today the 23rd of May 2023 signed performance contracts before the city managers whose performance will now be measured as the government presses for a high-performance culture throughout all sectors.
The technocrats signed the performance contracts after the heads of departments did the same early this year.
At today’s event, the technocrats signed the performance in the presence of the Town Clerk, Eng. Edward Mukaratirwa.
In his key note address, Town Clerk, Eng. Edward Mukaratirwa said it was critical to note that performance of the City was measured by outputs, therefore the need for the city’s technocrats to work accordingly.
‘The performance of our city is measured by your results as the city’s technocrats, that is outputs and outcomes attained at the end of service delivery value chain. Those results must positively transform the status of Masvingo and stakeholders’ welfare.
This process is necessary to track and measure performance’, he said.
The institutionalisation of a culture of high performance in organisations, underpinned by performance contracts among other mechanisms, is stated on the policy announcements made by His Excellency, the president of Zimbabwe, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa on the need to have competent staff, who pride themselves in delivery of quality and timely services.
The City of Masvingo’s Housing and Social Services Department has started selection of students to benefit from the City of Masvingo Educational Scholarship Programme.
Beneficiaries are to be drawn from Council schools and will be offered scholarships for the first year 2023 and the programme will be rolled to cover other schools in the city.
The grant is only applicable to students that are academically talented but coming from very underprivileged families, for instance child headed families or orphans being taken care of by foster parents.
There are already existing structures at Council Schools (the BEAM Committee) assisting with identification of these less privileged children. Each school submitted a minimum of five (5) children and one (1) is to be selected from the five from each school.
The package includes school fees, uniforms and related items such as stationery to be paid for by Council up to Grade 7. For Secondary education, the scholarship will cater for a full package like related expenses and boarding fees. The scholarship to university level will cater for the total fees (tuition and accommodation).