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Mutambara blasts partisan chiefs


DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on Wednesday blasted chiefs who acted in a partisan manner, saying it was against government policy and the new Constitution.


Mutambara was responding to a question by Makoni South MP Pishai Muchauraya during a question and answer session in the House of Assembly who wanted to know if it was government policy for chiefs and headmen to demand that people register their presence on a daily basis.

Muchauraya told Parliament that in Makoni South, headmen were forcing people to register their presence at their homesteads every day without giving a reason why they had to do that.

He said there could be political motives behind that, especially since the country was heading towards elections.

“The issue must go to the Local Government minister so that we can investigate what the crime of those people is and what the problem is,” Mutambara said.

“Let me just set the tone of government policy and of the new Constitution which we have just signed into law and say that our chiefs and traditional leaders must operate above party politics.”

Mutambara said chiefs and headmen were the custodians of traditions, values and culture and their positions meant they had to facilitate and lead communities without serving the interest of any political party.

“The chiefs, headmen and all our traditional leaders must operate above party politics so that they can allow their people to belong to parties of their choice. Political affiliation should not create tension or disharmony between a traditional leader and his people,” he said.

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