Vic Falls Mayor Gags Councillors From Speaking To Media

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

VICTORIA FALLS: The local city mayor, Somveli Dlamini has come out guns blazing accusing some social media platforms of mudslinging and publishing falsehoods about his council’s operations, and suggested he would muzzle his colleagues from speaking to the media.

Dlamini said there were intentions from a section of the city to tarnish the policymakers’ referring to a recent news article that was circulated on a WhatsApp platform, which accused the local council of corruption.

The mayor urged residents and other stakeholders to shun any information about the council from unauthorised council spokespersons.

“Victoria Falls City Council wishes to advise its residents and stakeholders to take note that there are numerous articles that have come to our attention misrepresenting facts on the official position of council on various matters,” he said.

“The public is advised to shun paying attention to speculative and unsubstantiated notions circulating on social media.

“As a local authority, we have officials that are entrusted with issuing and handling media announcements and anything published outside those two offices is regarded as unofficial especially at this time when I am reminded of the recent publication on WhatsApp titled: “Rampant corruption at City of Victoria Falls,” said Dlamini.

He said the council only communicates via its registered electronic channels and selected media houses that have been cleared to publish the same by the town clerk or the public relations department.

“The article is malicious, inconsistent with facts and loaded with mudslinging snares aimed at tarnishing policymakers’ image and bringing shame to the policy making body of Victoria Falls City. For the fair and accurate position of council, I encourage everyone to seek clarity on information being handed down to them through our officials headed by our town clerk.

“Any messages circulating on social media platform especially WhatsApp are regarded as spurious and fluke, aimed at derailing residents’ attention from the fundamental role that the local authority plays in providing essential service to its valued residents and stakeholders,” added Dlamini.

Lately, the council has been at loggerheads with a section of residents who feel spurned by “poor” service delivery and “failure” by the residents’ association to take the local authority management to task.

The splinter group is said to have formed a shadow residents’ association which is angling to unseat the existing association and councillors.