Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO’S Emakhandeni suburb Ward 11 MDC-Alliance councillor Pilot Moyo is facing a backlash from residents for refusing to entertain their questions on WhatsApp after a gang of armed robbers raided three houses in the same area.
The gang that was armed with machetes, axes and catapults, pounced on three houses accommodating individuals that sell wares and chickens in forex.
The menacing gang destroyed doors and removed windowframes to gain entry into the houses where residents were sleeping before robbing them of cash and valuables that included cellphones.
Following the attacks, residents formed a WhatsApp group to try and map the way forward in preventing similar crimes from happening.
The residents added Clr Moyo to the WhatsApp group hoping that as an elected leader he would also proffer solutions to challenges in the suburb.
But the councillor exited the group allegedly telling residents that the MDC-Alliance does not allow him to discuss issues via WhatsApp platforms.
“May I be excused from this group. I am not permitted to discuss through WhatsApp but at meetings with all residents getting my voice. I thank you for your effort,” reads his message.
His decision is said to have angered residents who queried why he did not want to engage online considering that there is Covid-19 which constrains meetings.
“The matter of our councillor Mr Moyo is very disturbing. How on earth does a chosen leader choose to abandon his people when we need him most? He is a kakistocracy (worst) leader to say,” said one of the residents in the chat group.
Another resident added: “The councillor doesn’t know his job description. That’s why he’s been spoon fed with what to do by people who are sabotaging his work. Lets just forget about him, what must we do with these criminals that have intruded our community?”
Another resident queried why the councillor will reject a virtual meeting considering Covid-19 prevention measures limit gatherings.
“If you deny us to air out our views through this platform, then when will we have contact with you since this pandemic is making it difficult for you to convene a meeting. If we hold a meeting the lockdown measures will be violated. If you do so then only a handful of people of your choice as councillor will only attend, leaving the majority in a quandary on how to express their concerns. As a leader we expect our councillor to be tolerant,” said another resident.
Clr Moyo admitted that he exited the residents WhatsApp group and said he had been added without his knowledge.
“They should have consulted me first before adding me to the group. They didn’t explain who they are and I just saw my number being added in a group. That is why I exited the group,” said Clr Moyo.
“But I have visited the affected houses and today I made a follow up with the police who are investigating the case. No arrest have been made although police are following some leads.”
He said he has managed to get in touch with the residents who formed the WhatsApp group to hear their views..— @nqotshili