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Person of The Year 2023

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Person of The Year 2023

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•  Improved Masvingo’s water supply 4-fold

Water is life! Nothing can be added to the adage.

The Mirror’s Person of The Year 2023 is Masvingo Town Clerk, Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa. 

He has given life to 92 000 residents of the Ancient City.

By implementing various strategies, Mukaratirwa who was appointed town clerk in June 2021 increased Masvingo’s water supply from 8 million to 30 million litres a day bringing the City’s water deficit to within 15 million litres a day. This saw residents who used to get water once in two weeks, getting it every day. Mukaratirwa’s target is to give Masvingo uninterrupted water supply within the next three years.

This is no mean achievement in a country where residents in some cities have gone for 20 years without tape water.

The Mirror’s choice of Eng Mukaratirwa as The 2023 Person of The Year was obvious and easy. Zimbabwe, now more than ever before needs servant leadership and managers who can take the country forward. The country needs managers who bring about development more than they are focussed on accumulation of personal wealth.

Eng Mukaratirwa’s work has had a positive impact on 92 000 residents. No investor goes to a city where there is no water. Mukaratirwa is bringing back mordenity to a City that has been sliding backwards with thousands of women and children queueing at night at boreholes for water.  Quite a number of residents were murdered as they fetched water at night while a number of women were raped.

Residents fetched water from unprotected sources and used buckets to flash toilets.  This has been wiped out. Today residents go under a shower in the morning and gardens are watered with tape water from the council.

The turn around was not easy. It involved robust restructuring of the water engineering department with heads of senior managers rolling. It also involved meticulous attention to detail as the City dealt with factors that caused the collapse of the water system.

Humanitarian Organisation of The Year

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) is the Humanitarian Organisation of The Year. This Church stayed alert and defended people’s rights during the August 23, 2023 Harmonised Elections. The Roman catholic is probably the only church which spoke for the people before, during and after the elections. The bishops’ voice was unique at a time when most churches were reduced to praise singers.

It is probably the only church organisation Zimbabwe that spoke truth to the power over issues of voters’ rights and electoral intimidation.

Some quotable quotes from ZCBC;

“Do not be intimidated, coerced or manipulated to vote against your will. Refuse to be used in violent attacks against your fellow brothers and sisters. Any party or politician that incites violence or persuades you to join in violent attacks is not worth your vote.”

“In reflection, on the election challenges, ZCBC encourage ZEC to give an account to the nation about the delays and procurement of voting material and the missing names on the voters’ role. The opening of polling stations during the night may surely bring to question the preparedness of ZEC for the just ended election.”

Human Rights Defender of The year 2024

Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Defender for The Year 2023 is with no doubt Job Sikhala, a lawyer and MP who was arrested for standing up against the murder of Moreblessing Ali whose decimated body was found thrown in a disused well in Chitungwiza.

For issuing a fiery statement against the murder, Sikhala was arrested by ZRP and has been in detention without trial for 591 days. His detention which many attribute to Sikhala’s opposition politics has been condemned worldwide by organisations like Amnesty International. Remarkable about Sikhala is that he has remained strong in the face of persecution and has never apologised.

2023’s Most Loved musician

Winky D is the most loved and defended musician. Attack Wink D on social media platforms and you find your head inside a beehive. 

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