Madz­ibaba brews a storm

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Harare Metropolitan News - Yeukai Karengezeka Her­ald Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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