Local government minister July Moyo’s campaign billboards are still up in Redcliff, some four months after the July 30 elections in a development that has angered local opposition youths.
A key ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Moyo had sought to represent the ruling Zanu PF party in the crunch ballot.
He was however, stopped in his tracks by the opposition MDC’s Lloyd Mukapiko, then a graveyard assistant with Redcliff Municipality.
The minister invested heavily in his campaign, carrying out some community development projects and putting up a number of billboards around.
“I told the youths to exercise restraint after they raised the issue with me,” said the legislator.
“They even wanted to pull down the billboards, but I told them there are channels for addressing the issues.”
Redcliff Mayor Clayton Masiyatsva said he would find out whether council is benefiting from Moyo’s billboards.
“I am going to engage people with relevant information in council and see if the council is benefiting through the minister’s billboards as it is standard practice that (those putting up) billboards must pay to the local authority,” he said.
Among other projects, minister Moyo drilled boreholes in the constituency, donated building material to schools, introduced projects for women and youths amongst other initiatives.
But all that failed to sway voters in an opposition hotbed where many are angry government over the collapse former steelmaking giant Zisco.
Mukapiko however, described his relationship with Moyo as cordial.
“I enjoy a cordial relationship with the minister. I have to work with him for the development of the constituency,” he said.
“I need his support as local government minister to see to it that he assists us with the water challenges which we are experiencing as a constituency.”
According to the MP, the minister understands the challenges faced by Redcliff as he owns property in the area.
“The water problems are not something which is alien to him (minister Moyo),” said Mukapiko.
“He is cognizant of the challenges we are facing as he is someone who stays in the area and I will continue engaging him until we find a sustainable solution to the problem.”