A NewsDay article has claimed that Zimbabwean chiefs have always meddled in politics. This comes when the country is divided over Chief Ndiweni’s political remarks recently.
The author of the article, Learnmore Zuze who is a legal officer argues that there is ample evidence to support his claim that Zimbabwean chiefs have been involved in politics before chief Ndiweni.
Zuze further said that traditional leaders have been acting contrary to Chapter 15, section 281(2) of the Zimbabwean constitution which stipulates that Traditional leaders must not (a) be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics; (b) act in a partisan manner; (c)further the interests of any political party or cause.
He notes that they have been usually active particularly towards elections where they will be mobilising the electorate to support a certain party. Zuze quotes the Chief’s Council president, Fortune Charumbira who in 2018 said:
We work with government and the ruling Zanu PF. I know people say this should not be said, but that is the truth. We are Zanu PF.
He also recalls the remarks of the late MDC spokesperson, Learnmore Jongwe who in 2000 revealed that a government minister had urged every chief to whip his people into line.
Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavima told mourners at the burial of Chief Chirumhanzu that the traditional leader was a dedicated Zanu PF member.
He concluded that although the constitution stipulates that chiefs must not meddle in politics, criticism against Chief Ndiweni is tantamount to modern-day Pharisee behavior.