Zimbabwe chiefs head to court for Mugabe support
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