President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday handed over brand new Isuzu double-cab trucks to traditional chiefs, after doing the same in the run-up to the 2018 elections.
Zimbabwe has 286 chiefs, and the new vehicles come as ZANU PF has roped in the traditional leaders to mobilise support ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, President Mnangagwa implored the Chiefs to put the cars to good use adding that government will fulfil its promise to upgrade the status quo of traditional leaders. He said:
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We will stand by our pledge to ensure chiefs get access to electricity, water, good roads and vehicles every five years.
This I hope will enable you to execute your duties of uniting people, instilling and preserving our cultural values.
We want chiefs to exercise their duties by following up on those in rural area and towns who are troublesome and put them to order then I will rest assured of leading the united and peaceful nation.
This comes at a time when the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) faces an acute shortage of vehicles and hospitals across the country do not have enough ambulances.
Traditional leaders are supposed to play pivotal roles in communities as the custodians of cultural values, facilitating development and resolving disputes using traditional ways of conflict resolution but they have increasingly been abused by ZANU PF to commandeer their subjects to vote for the ruling party during elections.