Bernard Manyenyeni

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Bernard Manyenyeni
Bernard Manyenyeni
Bernard Manyenyeni
Born (1965-01-25) January 25, 1965 (age 58)
EducationStrategic Management
Alma materUniversity of Derby, UK
  • Politician
  • Business Executive
EmployerAltfin Life Assurance
Known forBeing Mayor of Harare
Political partyMDC-T
Spouse(s)Fran (nee Mukura)

Bernard (Ben) Manyenyeni, the former Mayor of Harare, is a Zimbabwean business executive, politician and MDC-T member. As a businessman, his career spans over 25 years in the financial services sector, largely managing group pension funds. He was the Mayor of Harare from 2013 to 2018. Manyenyeni was succeeded by Herbert Gomba in 2018.


Manyenyeni first did his primary education at St Clare’s Primary School Murewa before moving to Murehwa Central Primary School and the later Bindura Salvation Army Primary School in Bindura. He did his secondary education at St Ignatius College and later Marlborough High School.


  • Sales and Reservations Assistant at Air Malawi Limited from March 1985 to August 1985.
  • Junior Account Executive at Old Mutual Limited Group Pensions from September 1985 to July 1990.
  • Senior Broker at Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers Limited from Aug 1990 to May 1998.
  • Divisional Manager in May 1998 and then Operations Director June 1999 at AON Zimbabwe.
  • In August 2003 he joined GP2 Asset Management as the Marketing Director. He then became Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in October 2004. The company shut down in 2005.
  • He is currently the General Manager and Principal Officer of Altfin Life Assurance Company.

Mayor of Harare

In 2013 he was the councillor for Ward 17, Mount Pleasant. In September 2013 he was elected Mayor of Harare for a 5-year term beating Zanu-PF's Musatye Gwasira by a margin of 31 votes. He succeeded Muchadeyi Masunda.

Suspension from mayor position

In 2015, the Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi was relieved of duties for retirement.

In March 2016, Harare City Council appointed James Mushore as Town Clerk. Then, (the same day) central government, through the Minister of local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviour Kasukuwere overturned the decision for a flawed hiring process. James Mushore challenged the dismissal in courts. City Council refused a Ministry directive to re-advertise post. Saviour Kasukuwere spokes to the Acting Town Clerk, Josephine Ncube and Mayor Ben Manyenyeni. The Mayor said our ‘hands are tied’ as the matter is before the courts. There were four matters surrounding this case before the courts. One being Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) suing Saviour Kasukuwere for abusing the Urban Councils Act. [1]

Suspension of Bernard Manyenyeni by Jonathan Moyo

So, in 2016 he was suspended as mayor, arrested and rearrested, at the instigation of the Minister of Local Government, Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo. He was accused of various offenses, among them the (above) alleged unprocedural appointment of former NMB Bank chief executive James Mushore as the city’s town clerk by the Resolution of Council.[2]

The victimization stemmed from inter-party rivalry between MDC-T and Zanu-PF over who would be the Harare Town Clerk. Manyenyeni challenged the suspension at the High Court. Manyenyeni sought the nullification of the suspension and for the court to bar Minister Kasukuwere from interfering with his operations as Mayor of Harare.

Manyenyeni also approached the high court and argued that the minister was abusing the legal process by splitting charges against him so that each time his suspension period expired, he would suspend him again. If this was allowed, he argued, the Minister could suspend him indefinitely through periodic renewals of the suspension with fresh charges being brought against him on each occasion. The judge agreed with the Mayor and revoked the second suspension[3][4] .[5]

Turning down honorary degree

Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni turned down an honorary doctorate degree from Dubai based Dubai Leadership Summit.

Speaking to the Daily News, Manyenyeni said:

I knew my turn would surely come. I spent the last few years laughing when people were receiving these dubious degrees, so I will not accept it now. An honorary degree is an honour when it’s coming out of a proper institution, it is earned out of service but these degrees are a mockery to Zimbabwe.



On 14 February 2018, Bernard Manyenyeni was recalled as Mayor by Harare City Councillors. MDC-T Harare provincial chairperson Erick Murai confirmed that Harare councillors – mostly from the MDC-T – had passed a vote of no confidence in Manyenyeni on allegations that he was no longer co-operating with them and not following the wishes and aspirations of the opposition party, not taking party orders in the discharge of his duties, and replaced him with his deputy, Enock Mupamawonde. “He has been speaking his mind and not the position of council. He is a dictator and does not consult fellow councillors. Most importantly, he does not want to take instructions from the party on issues to do with workers and council management,” a councillor who requested anonymity, said. Manyenyeni has also been critical of the quality and calibre of councillors, saying residents should vote for those who are educated – a statement that has caused discomfort among city fathers. [7]

A major point Manyenyeni brought up was pay. Disproportionate remuneration between municipal employees and their government and private sector contemporaries. Municipal workers were paid far higher. For example, a Harare city council farm guard was being paid $907 per month while a Constable with the Zimbabwe Republic Police earned just $400, a Harare nursing sister earned $1 527 with private hospital employees in the same job being paid $1 000 while government nurses earned $500, and Sergeants within security departments in the city earn $1 266 while a Zimbabwe National Army soldier with the same rank earned just $600.

Reports have indicated that Harare uses over 80% of its revenue to pay salaries. This is contrary to a government directive that prescribes 70% service delivery expenditure with the remainder going towards wages. Harare's monthly salary bill stands at approximately $10 million against revenues of between $12 million and $13 million collected monthly. [8]

Further Reading



  1. [Hard Copy Govt, Harare City on collision course], Sunday Mail, Published: 9 October 2016, Retrieved: 4 January 2020
  2. Innocent Ruwende, Manyenyeni suspended, The Herald, Published:21 April 2016, Retrieved: 21 April 2016
  3. Alex Magaisa, Welcome to the “rule of law”: made in Zimbabwe, Alex Magaisa, Published: 29 June 2016, Retrieved:5 July 2016
  4. Innocent Ruwende and Ivan Zhakata, Manyenyeni arrested, The Herald, Published:30 June 2016, Retrieved5 July 2016
  5. Fungai Lupande, Court frees Manyenyeni, The Herald, Published:2 July 2016, Retrieved:5 July 2016
  6. Farayi Machamire, Harare Mayor snubs "bogus" degree, Daily News, published: May 10, 2017, retrieved: May 10, 2017
  7. MDC-T recalls Harare mayor Manyenyeni, Newsday, Published: 14 February 2018, Retrieved: 25 October 2019
  8. Zimbabwe: Harare City Farm Guards Earn Double Police, Army Wages, New Zimbabwe, Published: 1 January 2019, Retrieved: 25 October 2019
  9. Big Saturday Read: Conversation with former Harare Mayor, Ben Manyenyeni, Big Saturday Read, Published: 12 October 2019, Retrieved: 25 October 2019

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