By Munesu Nyakudya
Norton Ward 12 Councilor Laston Tachiona, accused of siphoning money from residents in his area by the local legislator Temba Mliswa has hit back at the legislator accusing him of being malicious and anti-progress.
Tachiona who is one of only two independent Councilors in Norton Town Council has been at the centre of an ongoing tiff with the legislator despite their combined campaign during the 2018 elections which spurred both to power.
Some Maridale residents allegedly complained that Cllr Tachiona was making people pay money for water from a borehole he electrified and pocketing the money.
The move has been defended by some who say the Councilor has made positive practical interventions instead of waiting for a forever-coming water reticulation system in Norton.
MP Mliswa has also accused the Councilor of swindling Kingsdale residents of monies, allegedly paid to Professor Lovemore Madhuku in legal fees in their case against land developer and ZANU PF legislator Cuthbert Mpame.
However Tachiona has come out against the accusations dismissing them as baseless anti-developmental talk that is not informed with facts.
“I’m very proud of the water system that I set up in Maridale, it’s unique.
“Since January of 2019 to December, people never struggled to get water even in the very hot periods of July, August through to October people never struggled to access water.
“The real people of Maridale are appreciating this initiative, I’m a guru in water and of that I have no doubt.
“In Garikayi I electrified the area and that’s no mean feat again”, he said.
Tachiona said it was unfortunate that some people were focusing on none essentials based on ill-informed gossip.
“Some of these things simply need one to ask for clarification before going around with reckless statements. You begin to doubt whether the statements are aimed at development or what”.
“Sometimes we are quiet but the things that are said don’t make sense. You are actually frustrating the Water Committees. We have made intermediate interventions but if there is a better substitute lets go for it”.
Tachiona said some of the accusations were baffling as they made no sense.
Mliswa has however dismissed the defense and said he was doing more than his position mandated him and it was the Councilors who were the big let-down.
Reiterating his accusations the legislator said collecting money for water was a Council duty that should not be assumed by any individual.