BY SILAS NKALA
INSIZA South legislator Spare Sithole (Zanu PF) has been accused by villagers of holding a public meeting during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Sithole, whose constituency is in Matabeleland South province, allegedly held the meeting at Zhampale Primary School on January 27 in total disregard of the COVID-19 regulations that outlawed public gatherings.
Chief Sibasa, born Bekezela Sibanda, accused the MP, businesspeople and “rogue youths” of defying regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“The regulations state that there must be no public gatherings, but Sithole conducted a meeting in ward 11, gathered people. He used the headman and councillor to co-ordinate the meeting,” Chief Sibasa said.
“The MP is the one who should enforce the law. My fear is that COVID-19 might spread fast in this area.
This is likely to cause people to disrespect traditional leaders when we try to enforce lockdown regulations,” he said.
Sibasa said he was alerted by headmen who attended the meeting.
“They said how do you allow us to conduct meetings at this time of COVID-19. I told them that I did not know anything about the MP’s meeting. I was not invited to the meeting.”
Headman Malindi Siwela confirmed that a meeting was called by the MP on January 27, where 19 village heads attended.
He said he advised the MP to stop conducting such meetings to avoid spreading the virus.
“When these MPs came to us from the city, we thought that maybe their meetings are authorised. I tried to stop the meeting, but as you know, these politicians have their own way of doing things,” Siwela said.
Sithole claimed that his meeting was given the nod by the police and that it was meant to assist villagers on issues to do with collection of farming inputs, after reports that some beneficiaries did not get theirs.
“Those who say I conduct public gatherings are the ones stealing from villagers. I went to the place after some villagers complained that some villagers were stealing their inputs during distribution,” he said.
The legislator said some villagers were fraudulently registered as if they collected their inputs when they did not.
“I went to the place with the police who recorded statements. My mission was to assist the people,” he said, adding that those hurt by his actions were involved in the theft.
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