Know Your Councilor: Jacob Mafume
Ward 17: Mount Pleasant
Hard work, perseverance and courage are some of the basic tenets of a successful Councilor. Mount Pleasant's Ward 17 Councilor Jacob Mafume has had a turbulent term in office due to political issues, but seems so far to have managed to weather the political storms at Townhouse as well as improving service delivery in one of Harare's oldest and most popular low-density suburbs.
What is your background?
I am a lawyer by profession. Most of my work has been on human rights. I have been a lawyer for more than 20 years working in civic society, Government and international organizations in various countries. I am also a family man with two boys.
What motivated you to run for Council?
You cannot just complain about somebody not doing things. We need to change the face of Harare, it’s a beautiful City in terms of the weather and ambiance, but we the human beings have messed it up horribly. We need to do the simple things right, such as collecting rubbish when it is due, repairing roads and providing water into taps. Basically, I joined Council to find out about the issues that are affecting service delivery.
What are the biggest challenges facing your ward?
My Ward has not had water for a long time. There are also issues of road disrepair, refuse collection, fires at Pomona dump site and uncontrolled planning and development
What are some of the projects you have done in your tenure?
We initiated the repair of the Mount Pleasant Swimming Pool in partnership with the Triathlon Society. We have also dealt with the informal sector by putting up a number of stalls for the traders to operate in a clean and orderly environment. We have also donated PPEs to schools so that they are safe during this time of Covid-19.
What do you aim to achieve before you finish your term?
I hope to make refuse collection happen on time, have roads repaired and have water delivered to many households. My aim is to also deal with the issue of planning to make sure that we do not have continued, uncontrolled planning. We also need to protect our wetlands as well as enhancing the aesthetics of the Ward.
What challenges do you face as a public official?
The biggest challenge is politics. The recalls, random arrests, targeting, as well as interference from central government and other sectors which makes my job difficult.
Editor’s Note: Jacob Mafume’s position as Councilor is currently under contestation.