President of the Chiefs Council Fortune Charumbira defended traditional leaders during a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission post-election review conference. He was left unimpressed by the use of the word “punitive” against chiefs who openly declare allegiance to ZANU PF.
United States’ International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute co-director Jessica Keegan suggested punitive sanctions against such chiefs.
Speaking during the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions (ZEC) post-election review conference held last week, Keegan said:
This also includes the recommending or legal mechanisms to mitigate the abuse of State resources, including punitive measures for traditional leaders who engage in partisan acts, so the legal framework must be reviewed and discussed.
Chief Charumbira said that he agreed with the recommendation to define the role of chiefs but was against the idea of punishment. Said the chief:
I agree we need to sit down, that’s basically what should be the recommendation, not punitive measures.
No, no, no, that’s the wrong language, because even Members of Parliament, political parties, have never heard that language against political parties, even when they misbehave.
That word is never used anywhere and it’s wrong to be used for traditional leaders. That language is disrespectful for our institution
Keegan said that Zimbabwe’s Electoral Act needed to be aligned to the Constitution to guarantee the holding of credible elections in future. She said:
In the short-term, I think it’s important to have a comprehensive review of the legal framework.
This includes steps to ensure that the Electoral Act is aligned with the Constitution and holding dialogue on specific pieces of the Act which need to be amended or rewritten or reformed to improve the integrity of the elections.
Fortune Charumbira is a traditional leader in Zimbabwe and the current President of the Chief's Council. He was inaugurated as the substantive Chief Charumbira on 24 May 2000.In October 2018 Fortune Charumbira was elected unopposed as vice president of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Bureau, representing... Read More About Chief Charumbira
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is an independent body which controls and or manages all election processes at all levels in Zimbabwe. Despite being registered as a non-partisan body, ZEC has been criticised for aligning itself with the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU... Read More About Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) is a liberation war movement/party that has been ruling Zimbabwe since the country attained its independence in 1980. The party's main agenda was to liberate the country from the bondage of settler regime led by Ian... Read More About ZANU-PF