By Daniel Chigundu
Commissioner Joyce Kazembe who was standing in for Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba says they will soon be meeting with traditional leaders (chiefs) over reckless political statements they are making.
Chief who according to Chapter 15 of the Zimbabwe Constitution, on Section 281(2).a.b.c and d are prohibited from active politics, furthering interests of political parties or acting in a partisan manner, but since last year they have been declaring themselves to be Zanu PF members.
To make matters worse, they have also been attending Zanu PF meetings, doing party slogans and have even endorsed Zanu PF candidates as their choice of candidates in the impending elections.
Just a few days ago while speaking at a Zanu PF Mashonaland East Women’s League meeting, Chief Musarurwa (Enos Musakwa) said chiefs will not accept a President who did not go to war.
However, while addressing the media at a stakeholders meeting, Kazembe said they will be meeting with chiefs as there have been a lot of complaints with regards to their behaviour and statements.
“We are going to meet with the traditional leaders, we will engage them about the matter and complains coming from societies.
“We will engage them, they are part of our stakeholders but we had not yet met the traditional leaders so yes we will meet them,” she said.
Although it is unconstitutional, chiefs have been consistent in publicly exhibiting their undying support for Zanu PF at almost every platform they are given an opportunity to speak.
In October last year during the Chiefs Council meeting in Bulawayo, Chiefs president Fortune Charumbira was quoted to have said “as chiefs, we agreed during the 2014 Congress that Cde (Robert) Mugabe is our candidate for the 2018 elections.
“We are all united and he is still our candidate. We have been supporting him and we can confirm that winning is guaranteed.”
Earlier this year in Gweru the chiefs were at it again pledging their allegiance to Zanu PF after receiving twin-cab vehicles from President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Some Chiefs, especially in Mutasa Central, have reportedly been collecting voter registration slips from the electorate on behalf of Zanu PF, while others have recording names of voters.
Harare West legislator Jessie Majome has complained in the National Assembly on numerous occasions about the unconstitutional and wayward behaviour of chiefs but nothing has been done to address the issues so far-
By Daniel Chigundu