Councillor reprimanded for ‘riotous’ behaviour
By Nqobile Tshili
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has reprimanded its councillor who attended the swearing in ceremony of Bulawayo councillors in a suspected drunken stupor and engaged in a brawl with Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) activists.
The PDP fielded the councillor under the MDC Alliance ticket and he caused a stir following his behaviour after he attended the swearing in ceremony 45 minutes late and diverted from the norm by taking his oath of office in Shona.
Ward 24 councillor Arnold Batirai’s actions led to a backlash particularly from activists linked to MRP who charged towards him resulting in a nasty confrontational brawl.
In an interview, PDP deputy president Mr Kucaca Phulu described last Friday’s incident as unfortunate.
He said the party had cautioned Clr Batirai for his behaviour.
Mr Phulu, however, said the councillor should not shoulder the blame for the fracas on his own.
“If you take a closer look at that situation, there were people who had their political parties but no one seems to be paying attention if they conducted themselves properly,” said Mr Phulu.
“They wanted to hit that young man with a chair. He was badly insulted. But we have spoken to him and he understands how he should behave when being provoked.
Because clearly that was a case of provocation.”
He said the MDC Alliance partners have engaged Clr Batirai over allegations that he was drunk.
“We could not establish that he was drunk, it seems it was a case of provocation,” Mr Phulu said.
He said PDP and the MDC Alliance have listened to the concerns raised by Bulawayo residents.
“We have listened to what is being said by members of the public. He is a young man and we’re still nurturing his political career. We will reprimand and counsel him wherever necessary,” said Mr Phulu.
“Some of the issues will be dealt with internally but if we try to fix it across different political parties and pressure groups it will be difficult.” The Chronicle