By Anesu Angeline Madziro
While traditional leaders are expected to play a neutral role in their respective communities, the National Elections Reforms Agenda (NERA) has castigated Chief Fortune Charumbira’s statement on the position of traditional leaders at a Zanu Pf national congress held in Bindura last week.
In his speech the president of Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs said, “on behalf of all chiefs in this country, I want to tell you tha we are together. It’s true we are together. Weare behind you. I want to repeat this because there are people who ask us why we come here.
“Firstly, and in short, if you know where Zanu Pf came from, then you will not ask why Chief Charumbira is here. But if you don’t know Zanu Pf’s origins and how it started, you will not continue asking why wecome here.”
In response to the statement, NERA structures collectively denouncing the utterance by Charumbira during a nationwide meetings held today (Sunday). “We wish to express our dismay regarding political and partisan statements made by the Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira to the effect that chiefs own ZANU PF during the ongoing ZANU PF annual conference in Bindura.
“We believe that such mischievous and reckless statements are a threat to democracy and constitutional right to choice and the multi-party policy as they border along the smear one party statism which has no place in morden democracies and republics.
“The statements by Chief Fortune Charumbira are unfortunate and they violate our esteemed constitution particularly Section 281(2) which stipulates that traditional leaders must not be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics.
The press release further reads”We therefore call upon Chief Fortune Charumbira to retract his unfortunate partisan statement and to apologize unconditionally to Zimbabweans in general.
“We believe chiefs should be non partisan and should not by any means influence their subjects to align to partisan ideologies. As NERA structures from across the country, we condemn such expressions in strongest terms possible.”
Meanwhile the country is likely to hold elections in 2023, Chief Ndiweni was dethroned from Ntabazinduna after when he publicly declared his support for the main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and has been seen attending MDC Alliance rallies during the 2018 campaigns. MDC Alliance stood with him by holding solidarity rallies.