Meet Shurugwi’s new Town Chair
SHURUGWI – Shurugwi Town Council now has a new Town Chair. He is Fanuel Machiya, a former school teacher at Ironsides Primary School who has just retired early this year.
Machiya was elected Shurugwi North Ward 5 councillor on a CCC ticket after unseating Walter Gwinji, who was mayor under a Zanu PF ticket in the last term.
His road to the townhouse was not rosy. After beating contenders for the CCC ticket in the nominations in September this year, Machiya then beat Gwinji by 59 votes against 223.
He then set his eyes on the mayoral seat and he found himself facing Alice Mudhutshwa of Zanu PF, whom he beat by 12 votes to 5.
This is not the first time that Machiya has been in council chambers. As a teacher, he was elected councillor for Ward 6 before delimitation in 2013 and was elected councillor again in 2018.
Machiya promised ratepayers change within his first 100 days in office. His particular focus is to see the water supply improving in that period and there will be robust engagement with stakeholders, particularly the disadvantaged, including widows and the elderly.
He also called on political opponents to bury the hatchet and concentrate on development now that the elections are over.
He said that his reasons for joining politics were to save the community and to avoid illegitimate acts in the municipality. Machiya was born on January 1, 1968, and attended Mwembe School in Mberengwa. He was born in a family of seven, and that is where his leadership qualities were first picked as he became head boy.
After school, he joined Zimalloys as a human resources clerk. He resigned and enrolled at Mkoba Teachers College in 1990. He graduated and started his teaching career in 1994 joining schools in Shurugwi rural. He is currently studying for a degree in Business Studies.
He held various positions in community organisations including being Midlands Province chairperson for the Red Cross Society. In 2004, he became national vice president of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society.
He is married to Mercy Machiya, and they have four children, two girls and two boys. He also holds a Diploma in Education and a BSC Hons in Development Studies from Zimbabwe Open University.
He joined politics in 1999 at the formation of the MDC T led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai and became ward secretary.
Machiya is deputised by CCC’s Samuel O’Brien Mavhenyengwa of Ward 4 Railway Block.