THERE was an exchange of harsh words in Bulawayo’s Old Lobengula suburb yesterday, when the councillor for the area, Clr Thembeni Khoza, reportedly sent people to remove a fence from the vegetable gardens following her defeat in MDC-T primary elections on Sunday.
Clr Khoza was defeated by her opponent only identified as Lillian.
The fence was donated by World Vision four years ago.
When Chronicle visited the gardens yesterday, three men were busy removing the poles and rolling the fence, which was supposed to be taken to Clr Khoza’s office.
They said they were sent by Clr Khoza to remove the fence.
The men were, however, intercepted by some residents, who told them to put back the fence as it was donated by World Vision and accused Clr Khoza of failing to accept defeat.
One of the residents, Mr Keyi Moyo justified the removal of the fence, saying Clr Khoza wanted to protect it from thieves.
“This fence has been subjected to vandalism for a long time and recently some poles were stolen during the night. Residents reported the theft to Clr Khoza and she then sent people to remove the fence.
“It is just a coincidence that the fence is being removed after the elections that were held yesterday. The residents had actually abandoned their gardens because the borehole is running dry, making the fence vulnerable to thieves,” said Mr Moyo.
The residents were quick to disagree with Mr Moyo and said they were aware that Clr Khoza was angry that she lost the primary elections.
“We know what is happening here. Clr Khoza is fixing us for not voting for her. She should have consulted us before removing the fence so that we collectively come up with a solution.
“We will not allow her to remove this fence because it was donated by World Vision to protect our gardens. There was a time when we even contributed 20 rand per month per family to pay a security guard who was guarding the place and we built a room for him, but we do not know what happened to that money,” said one of the residents.
At that point the residents almost exchanged blows and threatened to report each other to the police.
They were accusing each other of stealing the poles and dragging politics into the issue.
A member of MDC-T, who declined to be named, dismissed the allegations and said the primary elections held on Sunday were not held in a proper manner and also had nothing to do with the removal of the fence.