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    Friday, 10 August 2018

    Chikomba DA accuses Mirror of causing CEO’s death

    The late Mr. Luckson Mutara.


    CHIVHU – Mourners gathered at the funeral of the late Chikomba Rural District Council (RDC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Luckson Mutara were stunned when the District Administrator (DA) claimed that Mutara's death was caused by stories published by The Mirror.
    The new Chikomba DA Michiel Maringa made these allegations in a speech he made during  burial in Chivhu on Saturday.
    Mirror board member Virginia Holmes said that the organisation was shocked by the allegations and added that such mischief can only come from public office administrator who thinks information is luxury and not a right.
    She said that her organisation was going to take appropriate measures to defend its name and ensure the security of its journalists maybe threatened by the baseless allegations.
    "The most alarming part of this speech is that relatives could have turned violent against our reporters at the funeral or even burnt  their car," said Holmes.
    She said that the paper will not be stopped from fulfilling  its constitutional mandate of informing the public by an archaic and old fashioned public officer who lives in the Stone Age when the World is in the IT age.
    Mariga apparently tried to whip up public emotions against a Mirror crew that was present at the funeral that included the Editor Nkulumani Mlambo, former Mash East bureau chief Ellen Mlambo, current Mash East bureau chief Miriam Mangwaya and Assistant News Editor, Tawanda Homba.
    The four were present at the funeral to console the family on the loss.
    Mariga also accused council employees of celebrating Mutara's death. He ordered such employees to resign immediately or he was going to deal with them.
    However, the late CEO's brother Francis said the former had battled cancer for more than two years and that was what caused his death.
    It is not clear whether Mariga was aware that the late Mutara constantly asked Mirror bureau chiefs to cover council events. He regularly invited and gave them transport to visit council projects in the district including in far flung areas such as Sadza and Seke.
    Mariga's reckless speech saw some mourners leaving the burial early after he also blamed members of a residents association for "killing" Mutara.
    "Ndava kumbofugura hapwa (am now washing dirty linen in public). Mutara died of stress. He was under medication and some social groups would organise demonstrations on unfounded corruption allegations. They peddled these in this little paper called The Mirror.
    "He had no chance. He could not survive the onslaught from the paper," he said.
    Collen Zvarevashe who is the chairman of Chivhu Residents and Rate payers Alliance (CHRRA) and some of his members who were attacked left during the speech.
    Ironically Mariga became DA in Chivhu only  four months ago in March.
    CHRRA had always demanded transparency in council business and the Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province David Musabayana recently said that a Commission of investigators would descend on council.
    "Those who accused Mutara of being corrupt have no understanding of how councils operate but were inciting residents protest against him out of malice," said Mariga.

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