Byo councillor slammed after calling residents ‘stupid’

Ward 4 councillor Silas Chigora has come under fire after he called residents ‘stupid’ during a WhatsApp group discussion on service delivery issues.

The residents accused the councillor of being abusive instead of responding to their inquiries why the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) was not delivering water bills on time.

Residents who spoke to CITE said the councillor in turn accused them of being aligned to the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) which he labelled a “rebel organisation that should not be involved in council business nor speak on behalf of the residents.”

Some of the participants in the WhatsApp group insisted residents had the right to ask him questions as they were subscribing members of BPRA.

They pointed out that the councillor also spoke on behalf of residents who were not members of his party and did not vote for him.

However, Chigora maintains he was insulted first by some individuals who chose to attack his person and not seek clarity on service delivery issues.

In an interview with CITE, Chigora said in a discussion, people must refrain from asking personal questions, as that he would not tolerate.

“If you ask service delivery issues, we can engage but why start questioning me about my ethnicity and qualifications. It is not in my blood to insult anyone, even council detractors from far and wide. However, some people must never bring issues of ethnicity, standing in society and level of education in their quest to ask questions about service delivery,” he said.

“Some of these people have never served Bulawayo in anywhere but want to be on top of mountains accusing everyone of this and that. A councillor doesn’t deliver as an individual but it is council that delivers. Council is as rich or poor as the people it serves. Residents  frustrations must never be personal but institutional. We all must enjoy rights not to be abused by anyone . No one will abuse me with impunity. I have the involuntary reflex to punch back.”

Chigora noted that on the matter of water bills,  BCC was facing resource challenges and had failed to deliver them to residents.

“We had no fuel to deliver, which was coupled by the rains and the lockdown order. We advise residents to register with the council online so that they receive their water bill accounts online. They can also inquire about their balance online when they can go to the Revenue Hall and seek assistance on how to be registered online,” he said.

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