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Poisonous gravel raises stir in Gwanda

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GWANDA Ward 8 residents are up in arms with their area councillor Thulani Moyo over the use of “poisonous” gravel that was condemned by council engineers due to its high toxic chemical concentration.

CHIEF REPORTER

The gravel is being spread around Senondo Township. Residents are reportedly compiling a petition to hand over to Moyo and the Gwanda Town Council. The use of similar gravel outside Phelandaba Stadium was blocked during the National Youth Games hosted by the province in 2011.

“We are compiling a petition on the use of the gravel that residents are convinced contains poisonous substances,” a former councillor, who is familiar with the local authority’s operations, said.

“The gravel is said to cause an asbestosis like diseases, including cancer, which are difficult to treat.

“Council has never used that gravel on any road.

“The road passing through the governor’s office (now Provincial Affairs minister) was condemned because a certain company used the gravel,” the former councillor said.

However, Moyo said he was merely fulfilling his election campaign promises and council had no resources.

“Do councillors require a council resolution to initiate developments within their wards?

“There are developments that do not require a council resolution and I don’t think spreading gravel needs a resolution,” he said.
Moyo said he had held two meetings with residents, but none of them had spoken about the risk posed by the gravel in question and he believed the protests were emanating from his political detractors struggling to deliver.

“The engineering department or the health department have never raised objections through a report condemning the gravel,” he said.
“Not a single resident in the ward has told me that their child has fallen sick due to the gravel.

“I am a generous person who has the interest of the community at heart. My ward gets muddy during the rainy season. When I was campaigning, I made promises to the electorate and am now delivering.

“Was there a council resolution backing my promises? Remember as Zanu PF, we are under scrutiny due to performance appraisals. I am a results-oriented person,” he added.

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