Source: Norton councillors take cover from ‘violent’ Mliswa | The Herald May 3, 2017
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Norton Town Council officials have said they are seeking protection from law enforcement agents following sustained threats of violence and harm against them being perpetrated by Norton legislator Mr Temba Mliswa.
The officials said Mr Mliswa was positioning himself to literally take over the running of council affairs through interference with its day to day operations, as well as threatening elected council officials and employees.
Council chairperson Councillor Precious Mufahore said at a Press conference yesterday that her council had since resolved to report Mr Mliswa to the police, as well as seek protection from the parent ministry.
“Since he became MP for Norton, council, through its various structures has held a number of meetings with him with a view to promote and advance development in Norton, but most of the meetings have ended with threats of violence and physical harm to both councillors and its employees,” she said.
“Council views these threats seriously and would like to call upon law enforcement agents to protect both councillors and employees. It is disturbing to note that the MP has of late sidelined council and wants to directly give orders to council employees on the pretext he is playing his oversight role as MP.”
Cllr Mufahore said her council resolved that employees should only take orders from council officials.
She said a number of newspaper reports had lately portrayed Norton as a rogue local authority, but contrary to that, council was putting a lot of effort to its main mandate of service delivery under severe economic challenges.
“The Honourable MP on the 10 April 2017 mobilised demonstrations against Norton Town Council,” said Cllr Mufahore. “Among issues raised were that of refurbishing of a mortuary, council has flighted tenders for the refurbishment of the mortuary and work should begin any time.
“During his campaign, Mr Mliswa wrote a letter to council pledging to refurbish the same mortuary and we allowed him to do so, but he failed. We have copies of his letter.”
Cllr Mufahore said Mr Mliswa had been urging workers to go on strike, alleging that management was paying itself monthly salaries when council employees were in arrears.
She said when salaries were processed, payment always began with the lower grades, adding that Norton had put in place measures to ensure it adhered to the 70:30 salary ratio to service delivery.
Councillors present at the Press briefing said it had become difficult to fulfil their mandate because of Mr Mliswa’s unnecessary interference with projects in their respective wards.
Contacted for comment, Mr Mliswa scoffed at the allegations, saying the councillors were uneducated, hence they could not understand his oversight role as a legislator.