Whinsley Masara Chronicle Reporter
POLICE have arrested a Bubi MDC-T councillor for allegedly posting a derogatory message insulting President Robert Mugabe on a WhatsApp chat group. Nduna Matshazi, councillor for Ward 18 and a member of a councillors’ group chat on the social media platform, was arrested after the administrator of the group notified police about the message.
The message, which is in the possession of The Chronicle, adulterates the Lord’s Prayer to seemingly denigrate the President. The administrator of the group, who declined to be named, said he was offended when Clr Matshazi digressed from discussing development issues that councillors created the group for.
The group is called Bubi RDC and is made up of 23 councillors and three council officials. “We created this group solely for communication as council. As council we notify each other on meetings, dates, agendas and other developmental business.
“When Matshazi’s message reflected on the group chat, everyone reacted with shock which led to us suggesting we present it to the police,” he said. The administrator said the message was a prayer twisted to demean and attack the President.
“When I read the message I called the number as I wasn’t sure which of the councillors had sent it. “I discovered it was Matshazi and when I asked him about the message he said it had come to our group by mistake. “He said he intended to send it to a political chat group.
“I then immediately reported the matter which led to his arrest by the law and order police,” he said. Clr Memory Linyane of Ward 16 said she was shocked when she read the message and wondered what the sender was thinking. “I phoned around to inquire who that person was until I learnt that it was Matshazi. Of course we all know his political group but because this isn’t a political forum, we didn’t see that coming.
“When you read the message, it becomes obvious to whom it is directed. We don’t expect that in the group. It was a tasteless and bad joke,” said Clr Linyane. Matabeleland North police spokesperson, Inspector Siphiwe Makonese, could not be reached for comment.