Claim: Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors in the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) are inflating are fleecing residents by inflating bills in order to raise campaign funds.
An article titled, Councillors fleece residents to raise campaign funds, purportedly written by online news portal, Newzimbabwe.com claimed that the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party has resorted to inflating water bills in the opposition-run Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to fund its campaigns.
The story went on to claim that Bulawayo Mayor, Solomon Mguni and his Deputy, Mlandu Ncube are in support of the mobilization of funds to placate Nelson Chamisa.
“Sensing potential election defeat, opposition councillors have been holding meetings with residents ostensibly to try and convince them into paying the inflated bills and unwittingly fund that opposition,” read parts of the claim.
The story went on to claim that Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) Winos Dube said residents were aware that the supposed consultations between councillors and residents were just window-dressing meant to placate the latter by providing them with some semblance of ownership. The story also claimed to have sought a comment from Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association.
Did NewZimbabwe.com publish the article?
The article is not available on the NewZimbabwe.com website, the first sign that the article could be fact. The article also does not have Uniform Resource Locator (URL) which links it to the news website.
Meanwhile, CITE contacted Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube who dismissed the story as fake.
“These are very funny stories, how will council money be taken from council to fund a political party, these are just people who have nothing to write and as a City residents know that we are working with them, how we are always consulting them, so we can’t be responding to these faceless reporters who are tarnishing the image of the city and some individuals,” said Mlandu.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) secretary for administration, Thembelani Dube said such faceless comments are not from BPRA.
“As much as we are worried by the inflated bills, we don’t believe it’s a certain party directive to do that. The Town Clerk is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the local authority not the mayor,” said Dube.