CHINHOYI Ward 2 Councillor Patricia Chibaya of Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) has died barely a month after her re-election to serve a second term. She was among the 20 Chinhoyi councillors recently sworn in at the Town House.
In accordance with section 121 A of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13), following the death of the incumbent councillor, a vacancy would have arisen in the particular ward and a by-election must be held to replace them. The youthful councillor, who was in her early 40s, reportedly died Wednesday at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital where she was rushed for treatment for symptoms of a mild stroke and migraine.
Chinhoyi Mayor Owen Charuza expressed deep shock over Chibaya’s passing.
“It is correct that we have lost Cllr Chibaya, and we are still trying to come to terms with the devastating loss.
“We are actually at her residence where people from all corners are flocking to confirm if indeed it is true. I am shocked,” said Charuza.
Mourners are gathered at her parents’ home in Hunyani. Chibaya became a councillor in 2018 and was elected deputy mayor following the resignation of then Ward 6 Councillor, Mercy Mada in January 2023. Elections that ushered her into office saw three CCC councillors and one Zanu PF member fighting for the sole ticket to land the vice premier post.
Chibaya, former mayor Dyke Makumbi, and current deputy mayor Chipo Mlotshwa contested in the polls to replace Mada.
Polling saw Chibaya garnering six (6) votes ahead of her closest rival Makumbi who got five (5), while Zanu PF’s Voster Mashevedzanwa scrapped two (2) and Mlotshwa just a single (1) vote.
Chibaya’s political career seemed to be on the right trajectory following her election to serve her second term in the just-ended disputed August 2023 harmonised elections. She was hoping, against the odds of ill health, to retain her deputy mayor post but was stopped in her tracks after CCC whipped members to nominate and vote for Mlotshwa instead
On a sad note Mashonaland West Province has lost a Champion, Comrade, Leader Patricia Chibaya councilor for ward 2 chinhoyi urban May Her Dear Soul Rest In Eternal Peace. We shall pursue & achieve the Zimbabwe you wished for. pic.twitter.com/Rp1HCCsLQG
— Promise Mkwananzi (@pmkwananzi) September 20, 2023