|Born||Lawrence Dambudzo Mudehwe|
July 26, 1933
|Parent(s)||Vincent Mafini Mudehwe, Norah Mungure|
Lawrence Dambudzo Mudehwe is the former mayor of Mutare and served in the office for 13 years from 1995 to 2013.
He was born on Juky 26, 1933 in Mutare. He did his early education at Mukandi Stapleford Primary where he completed standard one. For standard two and three he went to Makuvaza before moving to Saint Mathias Tsonzoo for standard. He then attended Saint Augustine for standard five and six. Between 1953 and 1954, Lawrence trained as a teacher before venturing into full time teaching.
The former Mutare mayor taught at several schools before his engagement with politics. He taught at primary schools such as Saint Andrews Mubaira and Bocha Marange. It was while at Saint Barnabas that he was appointed headmaster, the same position he also held at Bwaze Marange before also teaching at Bangare in 1963. He briefly worked at Mobile Electric engineers where he was employed as the warehouse manager and at Dairiboard Zimbabwe as personnel manager. He left his job at Dairiboard due to the fact that he had reached his retirement age. Lawrence was also appointed librarian at Sakubva Library in 1971 but quit the job in 1978 to help with the war effort in his native Manicaland Province.
- Before becoming a fully fledged politician, Mudehwe worked for the city of Mutare as a Superintendent following a series of demonstrations from residents. Initially, he was the Superintendent for Sakubva in 1981 before his area of jurisdiction was extended to include Dangamvura.
- Following another demonstration against the then Mutare mayor, Davidson Chohwi, Lawrence was petitioned by the residents of Mutare to contest for the office of councillor. He won the election and served as councillor for ward 15. He then contested for the post of mayor in an election he won convincingly in 1984.
- By this time the office of mayor was ceremonial and the office holder was not entitled to a salary, this saw Lawrence taking a teaching post at Saint Dominics in 1985 while keeping his office as mayor. Due to some of the functions and gatherings that he had to attend as ceremonial mayor, Lawrence could not keep up with the demands of his job at Saint Dominics. During that time he was also the first vice president of the Urban Councils of Zimbabwe.
- When the system of ceremonial mayorship was abandoned in favour of executive mayorship he contested in the party primaries but lost and came second. After party deliberations, it was decided that the winner of the party primaries did not have a good record and thus should not contest. Instead of filling the post with Lawrence who had come second in the primaries, another candidate was engaged which provoked another demonstration from Mutare residents who were backing Lawrence Mudehwe for the post. When he communicated to the ZANU PF leadership communicating his desire to square off with the candidate that had been opted for by the party, he was turned down forcing him to contest as an independent candidate. He went on to win the election and was immediately suspended by the party through communication from Didymus Mutasa who was a party bigwig in the province at the time.
- In the 1999 election that followed after the expiry of Lawrence's term, the ZANU PF party introduced a different voting system in substitution which saw Mudehwe not making the cut to represent the party. It took another demonstration from Mutare constituents to get Lawrence to contest on his own again, and he went on to win which saw him in office until 2003, capping an illustrious political career.
- Interview with Lawrence Mudehwe, Published: March 9, 2015, Retrieved: March 8, 2015