Residents welcome city fathers’ suspensions
BULAWAYO residents yesterday welcomed the suspension of five local councillors including the deputy mayor councillor Gift Banda on corruption allegations.
They said the country was struggling economically partly due to corrupt public officials who bleed the economy without being accountable.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde Saviour Kasukuwere suspended Clr Banda and four others Charles Moyo (Ward nine), Mzama Dube (Ward 25), Reuben Matengu (Ward 21) and James Sithole (Ward seven).
Yesterday, Bulawayo United Residents Association chairperson Mr Winos Dube said rate payers were happy that action had at last been taken against allegedly corrupt officials adding that the public deserved accountable leaders.
Mr Dube said the Government should do more to deal with corruption.
“Something has to be done and action should be taken. If we deal with corruption, Zimbabwe can be great again,” said Mr Dube.
Affirmative Action Group vice-president Mr Sam Ncube said the suspension of some city fathers confirms that the concerns they have been raising as an organisation about corruption at the Bulawayo City Council were not misplaced.
“From an organisation point of view there is no smoke without fire. When we were talking about these things people thought we hated some people but we don’t hate anyone. We’re only representing our constituency. We’ve to do things the right way. We need to protect Bulawayo,” he said. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association coordinator Mr Rodrick Fayayo said the organisation would take a wait and see attitude, but added that the process must not be
He said authorities should guard against using the processes for political mileage as this involves a Zanu-PF minister and MDC-T councillors.
“Our thinking is that this is a process. We will wait until they go to the tribunal and the evidence is presented then we can comment. We think that it’s okay that steps are being taken. But we don’t want the processes to be politicised. This is a corruption issue and it should be dealt with on those grounds,” said Mr Fayayo.
Last year the AAG asked Cde Kasukuwere to suspend Clr Banda following his land deals.
The pressure group further alleged that $8,749,914 worth of BCC tenders were tainted by serious irregularities due to massive corruption, nepotism, negligence through collusion of Bulawayo City Council officials.
“For example, a tender for rehabilitation of filter beds and clarifiers to Tzicalle Brothers had been officially awarded to Consolidated Engineers and Merchants (CEM), at a cost of $4,5 million. The previous contractor, that is CEM was paid the money but did no work, only for the same tender to be awarded to Tzicalle Brothers at a cost of $2,5 million. The net effect of this corruption and negligence is that in the last five years Bulawayo water has remained brownish and not safe for consumption,” AAG said. -@nqotshili A SOLDIER has been arrested after he went berserk and attempted to blow up a shopping complex in Queenspark West suburb, Bulawayo, using dangerous explosives following an altercation with shop attendants.
Admire Mangeya sent shoppers, imbibers, vendors and workers at the shopping complex running for their lives at about 4PM on Tuesday after he set the explosives in protest over a spilt glass of beer.
He was immediately apprehended by the police who recovered the explosives.
Witnesses, who could not identify the type of explosives, said an army bomb squad told them that if they had detonated, they would have razed the entire complex.
When The Chronicle visited Mangeya’s rented home in Queenspark West yesterday morning, police officers and officials from the Zimbabwe National Army One Infantry Brigade were searching his house for explosives.
The exercise took more than an hour during which a handcuffed Mangeya and his wife, only identified as Mai Craig, were assisting detectives with the search.
Shop attendants at Regal Supermarket at the shopping complex told The Chronicle that Mangeya lost his marbles after one of them spilled his glass of beer while he was playing pool with friends.
“We usually have a problem with people who come to our shop to play pool. They cheat by using old coins as tokens. Mangeya and his friends were playing the game and my aunt, Ms Rumbidzai Mukerekete, approached them and told them to notify her before they punch tokens into the machine.
“She accidentally spilled Mangeya’s drink and he became angry and violent, threatening to beat us up. He shouted obscenities at the top of his voice. He eventually calmed down after some shoppers spoke to him and we reimbursed him $1 for his drink and promised to buy his water glass,” said Miss Mary Shumba, one of the workers at Regal Supermarket.
She said Mangeya went away but later came back with some explosives that he connected to electric cables while he was sitting at the entrance to the shop.
“Initially we thought it was a joke but we realised that he was serious after he left the explosives at the door and stood at a distance.
“People started screaming for help and fled from the shops. After the explosives failed to detonate at the expected time, he ran back to reset them.
“Fortunately there were police officers nearby who quickly apprehended him and took away the explosives,” said a terrified Ms Shumba.
She added that Mangeya was arrested and taken to Queenspark Police Station.
A visibly traumatised Ms Mukerekete was sobbing yesterday and struggled to narrate “the terrifying incident” to this newspaper.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango yesterday declined to comment, referring questions to the ZNA.
ZNA public relations officer Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore yesterday said he could not comment as he had not received information about the incident.
“I can’t help you because I’m in a meeting,” added Lt Col Makotore.
The shopping complex in Queenspark West suburb, Bulawayo Police officers with a handcuffed Admire Mangeya
Mr Sam Ncube