Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Angry Residents Hold Mayor Hostage

ANGRY Masvingo residents stormed a council meeting Tuesday and held the mayor, Councillor Hubert Fidze, hostage for nearly an hour demanding answers as to why service delivery in the transit town had deteriorated.

The meeting was convened by Fidze and his council to discuss service delivery issues as well as find a solution to an ongoing labour dispute with a section of the city’s workforce.

But it was forced to end prematurely when the residents besieged the civic centre, venue for the meeting and held Fidze hostage.

The residents were demanding immediate answers to their concerns, of which the mayor could not provide.

This angered the residents, who felt the mayor had become too arrogant.

Fidze said some of the issues the residents were demanding answers to needed time to go and look into before he could respond to.

He was forced to leave the place under council police security when the residents insisted on dealing with him.

A visibly shaken Fidze raised his two hands high in a sign of surrender when it was apparent the residents wanted to deal with him.

At least two people were arrested during the abortive meeting.

In a later interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Fidze maintained that residents should learn to follow laid down procedures whenever they wanted to have a meeting with city authorities.

“The problem arose when I told them that l needed time to respond to some of their questions raised,” said Fidze.

“Some youths then started shouting at me and some even threatened to beat me up.

“Residents should book me for a meeting whenever they want to discuss anything with me rather than to talk to me on the street or whenever they meet me,” said Fidze.

The mayor was accompanied during the meeting by senior council officials.

Residents wanted an explanation as to why the council was failing to resolve the salary dispute with some disgruntled workers, something that has seen council property, which include refuse trucks, graders, and other earth moving equipment attached.

The property was seized a year ago by the deputy sherriff’s offices.

The residents also wanted council to immediately stop hiring vehicles for its senior officials from the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED), a decision that has cost council $1 million dollars within a single year.

The residents have vowed to mobilise other residents to boycott paying rates and tariffs until their grievances were met.

Masvingo United Residence and Rate Payers Association (MURRA) coordinator Anoziva Muguti distanced his association from Tuesday’s skirmishes saying his organisation’s policy was to resolve issues amicably with city authorities.

Source : New Zimbabwe