A 26-year-old Councillor, Prince Thuso Moyo, was this Monday elected as the new Mayor of Victoria Falls City, with a tall duty of rebranding the town which houses one of the world’s celebrated wonders.

He is being deputized by Councillor Lungile Nyoni.

The elections were initially disrupted last week after residents opposed the mayoral candidacy of Ephias Mambume, claiming he was not “local enough.”

As reported, nine elected councillors and two Women’s Quota CCC councillors initially held a closed-door meeting with party leaders to discuss the election.

The national leadership allegedly instructed the councillors on who to elect, leading to disruptions by residents during the council meeting.

After consulting with party leaders, the councillors held a new vote, resulting in Prince Thuso Moyo (Ward 7) being elected unopposed as Mayor and Lungile Nyoni (Ward 3) as Deputy Mayor.

The 26-year-old Moyo is the youngest councillor and works as the Managing Director of Platform Trading and Fruit and Vegetable Market. Nyoni who serves as the CCC youth chair in Hwange district says he advocates for youth inclusiveness in decision-making.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi has challenged the new mayor to reposition the city on the map and has suggested a developmental agenda for the ne mayor.

Mzembi writes:

Prince Moyo congratulations as New Mayor of Victoria Falls.

Brand Victoria Falls has better appeal than Brand Zimbabwe, we understood this during my Tourism Minister Days, and in repositioning Brand Zimbabwe perpetually undermined by the Governance Pillar and our toxic politics, we rebranded the Tourism Pillar first developing its Brand narrative from Victoria Falls’ seven natural wonder of the world designation, and identified our own seven domestic national wonders of the world which included: Ancient City of Great Zimbabwe, Kariba Dam, Eastern Highlands (Mountains), Our Wildlife, Cultural Heritage, Our People & indeed Victoria Falls itself.

Later there would be debate on whether these seven national wonders were representative enough of us, but at the time to mitigate this we encouraged provinces to develop their own marketing lists.

Back to Victoria Falls, it became clear it would be our lead brand into international markets but more importantly our sectoral “Sanctions Buster” later political and economic.

So I presented it as a possible host for the UNWTO General Assembly, this was in 2009, and at the time a proposition met with derision both at home and abroad but this spurred me on even further so we took up this four year project inviting Zambia into it by 2012 when a trilateral agreement was signed between Zambia, Zimbabwe and the UNWTO for the 20th Session GA later to be successfully hosted in August 2013, and dubbed the most successful ever in the history of General Assemblies.

From there we conceived the Victoria Falls Master Plan, granted it Special Economic Zone Status from Bubi , Hwange, VF to Binga. Inside VF itself a New City was going to emerge closer to the Airport away from the Natural Heritage, and I had successfully lobbied Free Zone Status for it after studying and presenting some benchmarks to Cabinet.

The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange was just but one of the many innovative projects I envisaged at the time, we even had a Formula One version product in the mix, rotating restaurants etc. Our own Sharm El Sheikh for the retreat of Africa Heads of State had been approved.

This was the dream I had for Victoria Falls then so big to the extent that local, traditional and civic leadership lobbied and successfully enlisted me for Freedom of the City which I couldn’t take up on counsel from Mugabe and Cabinet.

Later on I was asked to consider Parliamentary representation but it was overtaken by events principally my Secretary General campaign for UNWTO.

In congratulating the new Mayor I am also setting the development agenda afresh for him through this historical recap and reminding @ZtaUpdates and @BarbaraRwodzi & Team that we had an elephant ‘s vision for Victoria Faĺls, Tourism and Brand Zimbabwe; dont let it die. Build on this legacy. End