A Zimbabwean-born development expert, who never dreamt of living near the Arctic Circle, has entered an election race in the land of the Inuit in Iqaluit, the largest city and capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
Kuthula Matshazi, who left Zimbabwe for Canada 14 years ago, is vying for one of the eight council seats up from grabs in the city of about 7,000 residents.
“Our council elections are on October 19th and we will be electing eight members of council to run for the next three years. I threw my hat into the ring to see whether I can be of help to the city … I want to be actively participating as a citizen. There are a lot of issues that made me decide to run for council,” he said.
He said, “Iqaluit is facing food security issues, housing shortage, infrastructure deficit and health-related issues with our population. I think you might know that where I live it’s predominantly the Inuit and if you look at the history of the Inuit there has been terrible things that have happened to them over the years, I guess those problems have continued and so we need to address those issues.”
Matshazi is the first Zimbabwean on record to participate in the election race at this small settlement, which traditionally survived on hunting before it became a city.
The family man, who is enjoying his stay in the city with his wife and children, said he wants to work with local people to tackle hunger and push for modern infrastructural development in the northern region.
Matshazi noted that the election is not prone to rigging as they are using computers for voting and other modern voting systems.
A Zimbabwean woman, Nicole Ndiweni, who contested the recent British general election under the Labour Party, beat rivals to become the first black councillor of Hucknall, Ashfield District Council.