Nokukhanya Moyo, Sunday News Reporter
BULAWAYO Central Member of the National Assembly, Ms Dorcas Sibanda (MDC-T) caused a scene at a salon in the city centre on Monday when she allegedly refused to pay $25 to a hairdresser who had plaited her daughter.
The matter had to be settled after police intervention resulting in Ms Sibanda paying $21. According to the hairdresser, Ms Florence Mamutu (28), the legislator brought her daughter (18) to the salon in the morning to be plaited and she was charged $25 broken down as $20 for labour and $5 for braids. She promised to pay through EcoCash.
“When I was done plaiting her daughter at 2pm she called her mother who took more than an hour to come. When she came she said she did not have the money to pay,” said Ms Mamutu.
Instead of paying the money, Ms Mamutu said the politician started accusing her of detaining her daughter. Ms Sibanda allegedly ordered the hairdresser to come outside of the salon so they could talk in private, to which she refused fearing she would harm her.
“When they were still arguing, Ms Sibanda asked the hairdresser to come outside so that they could talk in private. However, the hairdresser refused and I think that got her angry,” said a woman who works at the same salon.
After Ms Mamutu refused to come out, Ms Sibanda instead went out and came back with two police officers. The worker said the police officers then asked Ms Mamuti to get into Ms Sibanda’s car.
“We couldn`t let her go alone, we accompanied her and when the police said she should get into the car, people who were around said it was dangerous because it was not a police car as it belonged to the legislator and therefore they feared for her safety,” she said.
However, Ms Sibanda is said to have ended up paying $21 through EcoCash after some of the hairdressers ganged against her and the police asking why she was involving the police when she was the one who was wrong.
“Even the police officers were later convinced that she was wrong and she paid the money, we wonder why she wanted to create a scene when she could have just paid instead of courting all that drama,” said the worker.
Asked for a comment, Ms Sibanda said she was angry that the hairdresser had detained her daughter the whole day.
“She had detained my daughter of which it was wrong because in town children get abused by strangers,” she said.
Ms Sibanda said it was also her duty as a legislator to protect people as there have been several cases that have been reported to her of people abusing girls in town.
“At least this happened to my child and I was able to address it because it is against the law to take advantage of children.
People should learn to ask for their money in a correct manner, not to use children,” she said.
On calling the police when she was supposed to just pay and take her daughter, Ms Sibanda said she wanted to teach Ms Mamuti a lesson.
“How was I going to take my daughter to the salon if l couldn`t afford? I wanted to talk to the hairdresser in person so that she will be able to tell her colleagues not to do that to anyone because it is extremely wrong to detain children,” she said.
She said her daughter was not allowed to go for lunch as the hairdresser was afraid she would run away.