ZANU PF Nkayi North MP Sithembiso Nyoni has clashed with village heads and local councillors for allegedly organising rallies disguised as development meetings.
This reportedly saw the irate local leaders threatening to beat up Nyoni, who is also Small and Medium Enterprises minister, alleging she was wasting their time at one of the rallies held last week.
Eighteen village heads, councillors from the two MDC formations and other community leaders walked out of Nyoni’s purported development meeting last Friday, alleging it had been turned into a campaign rally.
The community leaders shouted at Nyoni at the meeting held at Nkayi Centre, located in Nkayi South constituency once held by MDC-T deputy organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe.
Brenda Mpofu, the MDC-T Ward 23 councillor, last week said community leaders who attended Nyoni’s meeting were angry after realising its alleged motive.
“We attended the meeting as community leaders as we were told that it was a development meeting,” she said.
“We had been told that there was going to be disbursement of funds for income-generating projects.
“We were, however, surprised when she started chanting Zanu PF slogans and campaigning.
“We (MDC-T councillors) walked out with village heads after we realised that we had been taken for a ride.”
She added: “We had to restrain some of our colleagues as they were so angry that they were even threatening to beat her up since they felt they had wasted their day and walked long distances for a fake meeting.”
MDC-T Matabeleland North provincial chairman Sengezo Tshabangu said the incident was not the first one where councillors and village heads had been invited only to realise that they were duped to attend Zanu PF rallies.
“It is not appropriate for the honourable legislator to abuse people like that,” he said.
“They are trying to fish for votes from a cooler box and not a river.”
Contacted for comment last week, Nyoni said she was in a meeting and subsequent efforts to contact her were unsuccessful.