MSUNDUZI Mayor Chris Ndlela has asked Pietermaritzburg pastors to pray for the upcoming city leadership.Ndlela, who is about to exit the mayoral position, was speaking outside the city hall on Saturday where pastors and hundreds of residents converged in a city- wide prayer ahead of the local government elections on 3 August. Pietermaritzburg’s lead-up to the polls has been marred by political deaths – particularly in the ANC - with the most recent incident being the attempted murder of Ward 10 candidate, Nkosinathi Gambu. Gambu had a narrow escape last Tuesday when assailants open fire on him in KwaPata location. Ndlela said it was not easy being in a position of power and that the upcoming city council needed all the support it can get. “I will always treasure the support I received from churches in the city during my term as the mayor of Msunduzi, but I want to urge you to continue praying for the upcoming city leadership. Speaking from experience, I can safely say they will need all the support they can get, they have a tough task ahead,” said Ndlela.Pastor Neville Sewlall said the prayer was organised by PMB for Jesus, a city church body made up of different congregations.“We started with a 21-day fast and prayer. We have had series of other prayers, but felt we needed to invite various denomination leaders to pray for an end to the political killings, lawlessness and environmental issues like the current drought.”He said the prayer was a tool to encourage people to come together despite their differences.