Masvingo residents turn up the heat on ‘corrupt’ MDC councillors

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By Tonderai Saharo

Masvingo: Agitated residents here have threatened to go and stage a sit-in at the Masvingo City Council offices in attempts to force the ouster of two MDC councillors accused of corruption.

Ward four and five councillors Godfrey Kurauone and Daniel Mberikunashe, who retained their seats in the July 2018 elections, are accused of withdrawing $800 each from council coffers ostensibly to attend an Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) workshop last year.

The two failed to attend the purported event and instead, went on to use the money to sponsor their party activities in Chiredzi and Mwenezi, during a tour of Masvingo province by MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa.

The Ministry of Local Government was notified of the acts and sources at the local authority said nothing pointing to an investigation or disciplinary action has emerged from authorities.

However, restless residents have expressed fear that the case which was unearthed three months ago may be swept under the carpet as no official communication has been made by the local authority on the matter.

Masvingo mayor, Collins Maboke refused to comment, directing all questions to Town Clerk Adolf Gusha who was not reachable when equal attempts to seek his remarks were made.

Last month, another group of over 50 residents petitioned Masvingo provincial affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira to rein in on the elected officials and bring the matter to finality.

The residents said it was time they took matters into their own hands as they have exhausted all channels for recourse.

“Council survives solely on money that we residents pay on a monthly basis to improve service delivery and not to line up elected officials pockets or sponsor political parties’ activities,” said an irate resident.

“What is now left is for us to have a sit-in demonstration at the civic centre as a sign that we residents are not impressed by the way the matter is dragging, and the two councillors should tender their resignations as they showed they are not trustworthy to occupy public office.”

A local lobby group, Masvingo United and Ratepayers Alliance distanced itself from the impending demonstration but said it is a constitutional right of any resident to demonstrate is one felt their rights were being infringed upon.