By Yemurai Nyarugwe
A Chitungwiza Municipality employee was allegedly attacked for refusing to accept fuel donated for service delivery.
Phillimon Tarutira, a sewer supervisor alleges he was attacked by Charamba Mlambo and Goodwell Mafuratidze who had approached him to donate fuel for council workers to attend a burst sewer in Zengeza.
Mlambo and Mafuratidze are former councillors.
According to Tarutira, it is against policy to accept fuel from an outsider since it was the municipality’s duty to provide for such services in the dormitory town.
After realising that Tutira did not accept the fuel offer, Mlambo and Mafuratidze allegedly attacked Tarutira with the help of others.
“I was at work doing my daily routine when the former ward councillor Mafuratidze, Mai Chakwizira and a mob of men came to my workplace and started threatening me.
“The issue began when I had simply refused to take fuel from them as it is not their duty to offer us fuel to run our services; normally it’s the council’s duty to provide fuel for our cars to deliver services to the people in Chitungwiza.
“Mafuratidze had called telling me that he had bought diesel so that the council can run its business in Chitungwiza properly and I refused telling him that it wasn’t his role to play.
“He has no post whatsoever and really has no right to buy fuel for us,” he said.
“He then came to my workplace and started threatening me saying, ‘hindava uchida kudherera so’, and I was shocked where all of this was coming from as I spoke to him humbly and was just following the protocol.
“The gang he was with started beating me up and Mlambo was standing there firing me with words.
“Akabva anditi na1 am ndiri kuuya kuzokupedzisa and he left.”
Tarutira said he reported the case at St Mary’s police station (RRB 4311164) in Chitungwiza and that the case in now in the hands of the police.
However, contacted for comment, Charamba denied the allegations.
“Whatever he told you are all lies.
“I never harassed him nor even went to his workplace,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Mafuratidze told H-Metro that he never assaulted Tarutira.
“Handina kumbobvira ndataura naye face to face. I only spoke with the Council Sewage foreman Govere and engineer wecouncil handizive zita rake.
“The people in Zengeza 1 approached me complaining about the sewage system in their area.
“I think the reason why they approached me is that I once did my primary campaigns although I lost and it really does not matter,” he said.
“After hearing the complaints of the people I called the council members and asked why they were not attending to the blocked sewage system and told me that they do not have enough diesel to move around.
“Looking at the economic situation I understood where they were coming from and decided to buy the fuel myself as a concerned resident as I also have a house in Chitungwiza.
“So I think they got threatened by that or maybe they are trying to politicize a simple issue.
“They then asked me to wait until 12pm so that they would bring the car which they use to blow sand from sewage pipes, I waited and waited until I called again asking why they have kept me waiting if they know they were not interested in me offering help,” he said.
Mafuratidze said he was shocked with Tarutira’s false accusations.
“I am a free spirit person; why would I threaten him? I don’t even know him.
“All I did was help the residents.
“Well, I have not yet been called at the police station, so I don’t know whether he reported the so called attack or not.
“Even the police know that I am innocent; chirikuvarwadza ndechekuti opponent yavo yatengera vanhu fuel to solve sewage crisis yaitika yavanga vachitadza kugadzirisa pese apa.”
Chitungwiza Mayor Councillor Lovemore Maiko said it was a very saddening issue.
“It is very sad when people politicise things and end up beating innocent people.
“Tarutira was just doing his job; after all the fuel they are claiming to have donated is the fuel I the local councillor bought.
“Workers are now working in fear of being attacked or harassed for following the correct protocol,” said Mayor Maiko. H-Metro