Mayor consoles bereaved families

Mayor Mihloti Muhlope (second from left) consoles the relatives and neighbours of Jonas Phiri who lost his life during the car accident at the N1 road outside Musina. Mayor Mihloti Muhlope (second from left) consoles the relatives and neighbours of Jonas Phiri who lost his life during the car accident at the N1 road outside Musina.

Musina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope visited the families of four people who lost their lives during a fatal car accident that recently happened on the N1 outside Musina.

The Sebele family lost Steward (42), his son Thierry (15) and Steward’s brother, Maxwell.  On the other hand, the Phiri family lost Jonas who had just turned 30.  Thierry was a Grade 7 learner at Gateway Primary School in Musina. The four deceased were travelling in their Hyundai sedan when it collided head-on with a mini bus just after passing the Baobab toll gate heading to Musina.

Phiri was laid to rest at Musina while the Sebele family members were buried in Tsholotsho village, outside Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

Muhlope told the bereaved in both families that the municipality is worried about the number of road accidents in Musina. She said the municipality is working with different stakeholders to make sure that the number of accidents is reduced in the roads.

She continued: “We understand that this is a very difficult time for the families. Losing family members is one of the most painful experiences for all of us. It is very difficult to accept that our loved ones are gone. We must allow ourselves to grief so that our hearts are comforted accordingly. All we have to do is to pray and ask God to give us courage in these trying times.”

Paul Phiri, the brother of the late Jonas, said it gives the family courage to be visited by the mayor. “Although we are mourning, it is comforting to be visited by local leadership in this difficult time. We have lost a loved one but the visit by the mayor has given us courage to prepare the send-off of our family member with courage.”

Nobuhle Ndlovu, who spoke on behalf of the Sebele family said they are devastated by losing three family members at once. “This is the most difficult time of our lives but the mayor’s presence has helped us to stay positive in a negative situation. Indeed, this is what we call true leadership by the local mayor.”

Communications training for Musina councillors

From left to right: The Speaker of Musina Municipality, Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu, Thanyani Ravhura and Eunice Nkuna (both from the GCIS) listen attentively to speakers during the training sessionFrom left to right: The Speaker of Musina Municipality, Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu, Thanyani Ravhura and Eunice Nkuna (both from the GCIS) listen attentively to speakers during the training session

In a fruitful effort to improve communications within the Musina municipal area, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and Musina Municipality organized a communications training session for councillors at Musina Municipality Council Chambers.

The aim of the training was to equip councillors with the necessary communications skills they will use to engage with community members and stakeholders within their wards.

Tiisetso Ramotse from the GCIS said it is important to empower councillors with communication skills because they serve as entry points to their constituencies. He also outlined how the government communication system operates and how councillors can communicate effectively while at the same time adhering to the communication policy of the municipality and protecting the reputation of their institution. “The communication policy must be able to state clearly the role of the spokesperson and that of the politicians. It should be able to guide the municipality on who communicates what messages and at which times. Communication is one of the most enjoyable discipline if implemented correctly.”

GCIS Director in Limpopo, Mr Thanyani Ravhura spoke on crises communication and rapid response. He said the municipality should ensure, via appropriate policies and training that only authorized spokespersons speak during the time of crises. “The crisis communications team should have people who have been trained to backup spokespersons in different channels of communications. The main aim here is to protect the image of the institution while at the same time telling the truth. The municipality should have the means to reach internal and external stakeholders using multiple modalities during the time of crises. This can easily be achieved by setting up social media accounts and developing a number of contacts where you will spread information faster.”

The Speaker of Musina Municipality, Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu is one of the delegates who attended the training. He said: “Although we are responsible community leaders, we don’t know all the basics because communication is a specialized field. I hope we keep on having these types of engagements because they help us to be better leaders and communicators. Indeed, the training was a learning curve.” 

Farewell to two prolific managers

Municipal Manager, Nathi Tshiwanammbi (middle) hands over tokens of appreciation to Chuene Dinyake (left) and Mpho Mudau during their farewell functionMunicipal Manager, Nathi Tshiwanammbi (middle) hands over tokens of appreciation to Chuene Dinyake (left) and Mpho Mudau during their farewell function

“When bigger institutions like the district municipality tap prolific human resources from us, it is a clear indication that we are doing well in terms of staff empowerment and development.” These are the words of Musina Municipality Municipal Manager, Mr Nathi Tshiwanammbi. He was addressing workers who converged at the municipal office to bid farewell to two managers who have left Musina to join the Vhembe District Municipality.

Mpho Mudau, who served Musina Municipality as Local Economic Development Manager for the past four years, has been appointed Risk Manager at the district level. On the other hand, the Senior Manager in the Technical Department of Musina, Chuene Dinyake has taken up a position as Chief Technician of Project Management in Vhembe.

Tshiwanammbi said although the municipality still has a challenge of manpower, it would not be proper to stand on employees’ ways if they get greener pastures somewhere. “I always tell people that if opportunities come, they must grasp them with both hands. We know that there were a lot of people who applied for the positions in the district municipality but the fact that these two went through all the recruitment processes and succeed should be appreciated.”

He said he knew the two managers as dedicated individuals who are always ready to serve the community. “Your contributions in this municipality has laid a solid service delivery foundation and I have no doubt that you are going to represent us well at the district level. We all know that you have an open door policy and we will always keep in touch with you whenever we need something here. We wish you good luck in your new employment ventures.”

When responding, Mpho Mudau said he was sad and happy at the same time. “I am sad because Musina was my second home and I had a nice experience of working with good colleagues. I am happy because I’m climbing a career ladder which will build me to be a better person in life. I will always remember the good memories of my colleagues in Musina but I have to move on to learn new things in life.”

On the other hand, Chuene Dinyake said: “I thank the management of Musina for giving me the opportunity to realize my potential for the past five years. I have learnt a lot of things that will help me to take up my new position with ease. Indeed, there is time to meet and time to part.”

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