The opposition Citizens Coalition Change (CCC) leader, Nelson Chamisa, yesterday accused ZANU PF of trying to buy the loyalty of traditional leaders ahead of the 2023 general elections.
This comes as the government is planning to review traditional leaders’ allowances, put them on medical aid, service their vehicles and allocate them fuel, to cushion them against economic turbulences.
CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, accused the ruling party of trying to bribe chiefs. She said:
We condemn this brazen attempt to buy the loyalty of chiefs with trinkets. We respect the role and importance of traditional leaders but we are opposed to them being used to participate in partisan politics.
Traditional leaders must be non-partisan and put the interests of the citizens they lead ahead of any partisan agenda.
Chapter 15.2 of the Constitution forbids traditional leaders from being members of any political party or in any way participating in partisan politics.
Traditional leaders have faced accusations of being ZANU PF appendages with Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira openly declaring his allegiance to the ruling party.
But Zanu PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the ruling party does not believe in bribing people to vote for it adding, “Our secret to victory is servant leadership and development.”
Last year, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga warned chiefs that they risked being stripped of their positions for criticising the ZANU PF government.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said the government should also show the same zeal to improve the welfare of civil servants.