Chiefs ordered to strip CCC friendly headmen
ZANU PF has ordered chiefs to strip village heads and headmen who entertain opposition parties ahead of the August 23 election of their titles.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently rewarded village heads and headmen with a pay rise ahead of the elections.
However, Zimbabwe’s Constitution prohibits traditional leaders from being members of any political party or participating in partisan politics.
Addressing a rally at Maybole Maboleni business centre in Lower Gweru on Saturday last week, Zanu PF Midlands provincial chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube warned village heads and headmen who entertain opposition parties.
“Traditional leaders and Zanu PF are one thing; there is no difference. Anyone who entertains opposition parties must be removed and we won’t tolerate that,” Ncube said.
“Don’t be apologetic about it, we don’t want sellouts. We will not tolerate any village head or headman who entertains the opposition. We will strip them of their titles and they will be made to answer to the people.”
He said he was closely monitoring traditional leaders.
“That’s why we introduced the Patriot Act so that we deal with these people accordingly. We are keeping a close eye on everyone who wants to support the opposition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Chirumanzu — Fidelis Mudzengi — has ordered his subjects to vote for the ruling Zanu PF party.
Addressing a meeting in Chirumanzu recently, Chief Chirumanzu warned that he would deal with opposition party supporters in his area.
“Election time has come and Mnangagwa has been doing wonderful work for us and we should return the favour by voting for him,” he reportedly said.
“Note that if you are a village head you have no choice, but to vote for Zanu PF. You don’t have any excuse; we will maintain our tradition and culture.”
He warned villagers against supporting Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
“Don’t tell me about democracy and these CCC sellouts, they don’t know anything about the traditions and cultures of this country,” Chief Chirumanzu said.
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said Zanu PF had no such policy.
“Zanu PF has no such policy or programme as it fully abides by the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe it was co-author and co-sponsor. The Constitution recognises the chieftaincy as an apolitical historical and customary institution,” Mutsvangwa said.
Mnangagwa recently rewarded village heads and headmen with a pay rise and pampered chiefs with vehicles and connected their homes to the national electricity power grid.
According to information gathered by the NewsDay, the village heads and headmen now earn US$50, plus a $100 000 local currency component.
Apart from the pay rise, the traditional leaders have been put on government medical aid catering for the village head, spouse and three children.
Traditional leaders have been asked to open bank accounts since their salaries are now being paid through the Salary Service Bureau.
Concern has been raised over traditional leaders who continue to dabble in partisan politics, saying this will impact on the secrecy and integrity of the ballot in the 2023 polls.