Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Norton legislator Mr Temba Mliswa yesterday threatened to physically assault the town’s councillors and officials after he led nearly 100 people to the council offices, demonstrating against alleged corruption.
The people, mostly from Kingsdale Farm in the town, gathered at Katanga Shopping Centre before marching to the council’s housing offices, where they presented a petition containing a number of allegations against the officials. Mr Mliswa said he would return in coming days to physical fight the council officials.
“I will one day enter these council offices, even in Zanu-PF they will tell you, I used to lock the doors, because you can fight during a meeting, there is nothing wrong,” he said. “Even if you report to the police, I simply tell them we were fighting. We cannot fight when we are outside like this. In that office we can enter and lock the doors so that we size up each other with blows.”
Mr Mliswa had no kind words for Norton Town Council secretary Mr Kizito Muhomba, who received the demonstrators. “I thought you were are an educated man,” he said. “I tell you, I am coming and I feel for you, the way you will leave this office. I am coming, I am coming. April will be the month of action.”
The people led to the council offices by Mr Mliswa alleged that there was poor service delivery and gave the local authority a one-week ultimatum to put its house in order. Mr Mliswa assured them he would take their petition to Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
According to the petition, they wanted Government to rescind a council resolution to buy Mr Muhomba a vehicle worth $73 000. Mr Muhomba said in an interview that the car was part of his contract since he joined council in May last year, but had not received it because they were prioritising service delivery.
“We want to do the best we can, but without resources there is nothing that we can do,” he said, adding that council was owed $15 million by residents. The demonstrators complained that Norton did not have a functional mortuary for more than 10 years. They accused council of failing to implement ministerial directives on converting rented council houses into home ownership and give title deeds to tenants of more than 20 years.
The demonstrators demanded the construction of more clinics in the town and wanted top executives’ salaries reduced.
They accused land developers in the town of being land barons, citing Eddies Pfugari, the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Housing Association (Zaha) and Maparahwe. Zaha director Mr Killer Zivhu is on record challenging Mr Mliswa to bring forth evidence, saying his organisation was developing land which it had acquired legally.