GWERU: Gender parity or rather affirmative action should be brewing results now following the domination of women leaders in their fields of expertise.
As the City of Progress has had power women like River Valley Properties CEO Dr. Smelly Dube, emerging leaders like Vimbai Chingwaramusee are personalities the general populace now recognizes following her continued prowess in her office as the City of Gweru spokesperson.
“There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise,” were Chingwaramusee’s words as she gave her opinion on how she viewed a world women are given equal opportunities as their male counterparts.
“I am aiming for more. The accolades are welcome but I am a dreamer and as such, I still have more positives to achieve, positives I have always dreamt of as a Gweru resident than a municipal spokesperson. I am a resident first before being in this office and because of that, I will serve my city towards restring progress which I may say is nigh,” Chingwaramusee told CommuTalk.
A brief background tells that Chingwaramusee has bagged awards from her first year in office.
In 2019, the year she assumed office, Chingwaramusee announced first runner-up for the Public Relations Officer of the year for Local Authorities by the Institute of Public Relations and Communication Zimbabwe (IPRCZ).
Joined by Anna Machacha in the ‘winning team’, the duo brought home four awards from the 2020 Public Relations and Communications Excellence Awards where they scooped Best Campaign – Digital Communication, Best Influence Strategy, Best Engagement-Targeted Community and Public Relations and Communication Campaign of the year categories.
It is in 2020 again that IPRCZ awarded her the Public Relations Practitioner of the year.
2021 indeed put the icing on the cake for Chingwaramusee’s career as she was recognized by the Zimbabwe CEO’s Network as an Outstanding Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Leader.
It was shortly after landing that milestone that she pulled a shocker as she broke the record at the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF 2021) by lifting the Golden Jubilee Trophy, for Best Exhibit by a Local Government Authority and a Gold Medal award for best Zimbabwean Exhibit – Civic Participation category.
Gweru Residents Forum (GRF) was one of the key players in fostering inclusive participation through launching the G-City mobile application for improved access to service delivery.
According to Chingwaramusee, breaking barriers as a woman is not easy.
“Being the voice and face of the council is not easy at all at times I just want to be Vimbai, the fun-loving person but at times I really have to maintain my composure for the image of the council and needs of residents,” she said.
“Honestly I have not faced many challenges so far with regards to settling from the private sector into the public sector. However, there is low female representation in decision-making positions within local authorities and the environment demands one to be strong-willed and focused,” she added.
The City of Gweru Mayor also acknowledged that Chingwaramusee’s prowess is proof that women are able to make a change in many male-dominated sectors.
“Women’s participation is of paramount importance. As men in local authorities, we should accord women the authority to do what they know best and support them. We should erase gender roles in professions and focus on professionalism and excellence to ensure that we achieve our stated vision and mission,” said Makombe.
Chingwaramusee has also been for the last weeks been showered with congratulatory messages from all sectors including influential leaders and resident associations.
Nozipho Rutsate is a community development journalist and communications expert currently working at the Quadriplegic and Paraplegic Association of Zimbabwe. She writes in her personal capacity.