SCORES of Bulawayo residents yesterday thronged the Small City Hall in the city in response to fake social media messages that promised them jobs under the ambitious $60 million Egodini Mall project.
The contractor, Terracotta Trading Pvt Ltd, swiftly reacted with a statement distancing itself from the WhatsApp messages and advised residents to use proper information channels.
“There have been a number of social media messages relating to employment opportunities and processes in relation to the Egodini Project. Unfortunately, these messages contain false information and are causing unnecessary anxiety to the general public,” said Terracotta.
“The public is again advised that the Egodini Project has not contracted any representative or institution to employ on its behalf. Accordingly, we appeal to the public to report any person or organisation purporting to employ or disseminating any information about employment opportunities at Egodini to the nearest police station.”
It is not the first time such fake messages have been peddled in public and the contractor blames certain interest groups for seeking to cause disorder and disturb peace in the city. In February both council and Tearracotta released a joint statement in relation to the very same issue. Residents and all stakeholders have since been called to rely solely on formal communication issued by either Terracotta, as the developer or the city council as the local authority.
The contractor, however, paid tribute to residents for showing genuine interest in support for the Egodini Project and said a contact centre or office would soon be set up in the city to officially engage job seekers and answer to any queries.
“The public should note that all employment applications for Phase 1 of the project will be exclusively received through the contact centre, which will be located adjacent to the site at the corner of 8th Avenue Extension and Lobengula Street,” said Tearracotta.
“The contact centre is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to be completed and opened at the end of April 2018. Terracotta will advise the public, through formal media channels, about the actual date on which the contact centre will be opened for acceptance of employment applications, as well as the relevant processes and procedures to be followed by prospective job applicants.”
The contact centre will serve as; a jobs centre for job applicants, a business centre for sub-contractors and material suppliers to register on relevant databases, collect tender documents and submit their respective bids for sub contracts and materials supply. It will also be a public relations centre for all formal and social media related issues as well as any community liaison issues.
One of the frustrated residents said: “We got the message from Whatsapp that all those who want to be recruited for Egodini Mall must report to the city hall on the 13th of April without fail. “As people who are desperately for jobs we woke up in the morning and joined the queue hoping to be recruited for the job. The message informed us to bring IDs, CVs and certificates.”
Council recently closed the Egodini terminus in preparation for the commencement of Phase 1 construction works. Since then there has been anxiety over the project and speculation over job opportunities.