Zim­babwe chiefs head to court for Mu­gabe sup­port

African Times - - International/africa - MAR­CUS MUSHONGA

THE leader of Zim­bab­wean chiefs has been hauled be­fore the courts for or­der­ing the tra­di­tional lead­ers and their sub­jects to vote for the rul­ing party in elec­tions to be held later this year.

Op­po­si­tion leader, El­ton Man­goma, has dragged For­tune Charumbira, the Pres­i­dent of the Zim­babwe Coun­cil of Chiefs, to the High Court for the dec­la­ra­tion made in the sec­ond cap­i­tal Bu­l­awayo last Oc­to­ber that tra­di­tional lead­ers must back ZANU-PF and en­dorse sup­port to the party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in the general elec­tions.

Robert Mu­gabe, who was de­posed in the fol­low­ing month, was the can­di­date.

Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa has re­placed him.

Man­goma, the leader of Re­newal Democrats of Zim­babwe (RDZ), is seek­ing an order to de­clare Charumbira’s ut­ter­ances as un­con­sti­tu­tional and a vi­o­la­tion of con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions that re­quire tra­di­tional lead­ers to be in­de­pen­dent and shun party pol­i­tics.

Man­goma, who also cited the Na­tional Coun­cil of Chiefs and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter, July Moyo, as re­spon­dents to the ap­pli­ca­tion, ar­gued that tra­di­tional lead­ers must nei­ther be mem­bers of any po­lit­i­cal party nor be in­volved in par­ti­san­ship.

“Chief Charumbira’s care­less ut­ter­ances also vi­o­late the rights of all peo­ple liv­ing in Zim­babwe as they will be vul­ner­a­ble to ma­nip­u­la­tion as they fear reprisals of not con­form­ing to his po­si­tion on sup­port­ing ZANUPF,” Man­goma said.

Zim­bab­wean chiefs have over the years come un­der crit­i­cism for aug­ment­ing the reign of Mu­gabe for over 37 years. The tra­di­tional lead­ers have been ac­cused of vic­tim­iz­ing op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers through vi­o­lence, de­nial of food aid and other essen­tials. – CAJ News

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