Madzibaba brews a storm
CHITUNGWIZA residents on Tuesday staged a demonstration at Zengeza 2 shops against the decision by Madzibaba Stephen Mugariri, who is popularly known as the “Back to Sender” prophet, to turn a bus stop at the shops into a parking lot.
Madzibaba Mugariri, who runs Executive Centre Bottle Store and Nightclub that is adjacent to the terminus, destroyed sheds put up by council to make way for the parking lot, which was meant for his clients.
He opened the bar, which formerly belonged to ZANU-PF aspiring Member of Parliament Lisbon Marufu, in February this year .
The residents, who were irked by the development and were baying for the businessman’s blood, also accused the municipality of selling the terminus to the businessman.
The commotion attracted the attention of Chitungwiza Mayor Goodwill Mushangwe, who was in the company of his officials and held a closed-door meeting with Madzibaba Stephen.
Mayor Mushangwe told the residents after the meeting that the businessman did not have clearance to take over the bus stop and should cease all developments.
“Let it be clear, council never sold this area to this businessman and we were equally shocked to hear such news. In fact, Madzibaba Stephen only sought clearance from the head office to clean up the area and not to develop it into a parking lot.
“He does not have any documents that permit him to do that and he has since apologised and agreed to put the construction on hold until the matter is looked into thoroughly by the responsible offices,” said Mayor Mushangwe.
Madzibaba Stephen said his intentions were noble.
“I run a bar and a canteen here but the conditions were not conducive considering that behind the canteen there is a lot of garbage people had been dumping where the terminus was.
“With the recent typhoid and cholera outbreak I thought it was good idea to clean up the area and secure it by turning the bus stop into a car park so that people will not continue to dump rubbish here. This would also prevent criminal activities,” he said.
One of the vendors who was affected by the development condemned Madzibaba’s move.
“Some of us are widows and have been selling our wares here for many years to fend for our families. The council must give Madzibaba space elsewhere but not here,” fumed one of the residents who only identified herself as Mrs Dzvairo.
Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents’ Association (Camera) director Mr Marvellous Khumalo said they were awaiting further developments.
“It is very difficult to comment right now, but we wait to see if the bus stop will be restored to its former state after Madzibaba is done with cleaning up the area,” he said.