VETERAN politician Alderman Charles Mpofu, who tragically died from wounds sustained after being struck by a sand poaching truck on Sunday, was disliked and equally loved for his outspokenness, Bulawayo city councillors said yesterday.
In a special Bulawayo City Council meeting held at the Large City Hall to pay tribute to Mpofu, councillors described the city’s former deputy mayor as courageous and a no pushover.
“Alderman Mpofu was a man who could not be tamed by anybody. He would not utter anything to please anybody and would not apologise for that,” former mayor David Ndlovu said.
“Unlike others who are motivated by the need to seek power and prestige, Mpofu was motivated by the desire to see council prosper and residents getting the best service and that’s why he was the most difficult person to convince.”
Ndlovu added that Mpofu’s death was sad for a man who was against corruption.
“Unfortunately as a person who was against corruption, he died a painful death because of unlicensed drivers who were picking sand unlawfully,” Ndlovu said.
The unlicensed truck driver Trust Lupondo appeared in court yesterday facing culpable homicide charges and was remanded in custody to next Tuesday by Western Commonage magistrate Themba Chimiso. Former councillor Matson Hlalo, now a senator, described Mpofu as a man who was hated for his outspokenness.
“Mpofu was a great man who lived by the principle of the truth and would never leave a stone unturned. He would expose, especially those corrupt officials earning about $300 000 while other employees earned $80,” Hlalo said.
“He was my brother indeed who was against corruption. IBulawayo ubeyenza eyakhe (Bulawayo was his city),” former councillor Michael Bathandi Mpofu said.
“With this I urge Bulawayo leaders to follow in his footsteps and concentrate on Bulawayo not the political parties they serve.”
Former Bulawayo mayor Japhet Ndabeni Ncube said Mpofu was a strong person with a strong character.
“He was a fearless and courageous man who would take into account the views of the people,” Ncube said.
Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo urged councillors to put Bulawayo’s interests at heart and fight corruption from its roots.
Mpofu was a councillor from 1999 to 2008 and served on various council committees.
He will be buried today in his rural village koNtujambila in Matopo, Matabeleland South.