Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage minister Abednico Ncube has pleaded with traditional leaders to encourage their subjects to sell part of their livestock to minimise their losses during the current drought.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
He said this at a Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders (Zacro) discussion where traditional leaders in Mashonaland East and Central said they were opposed to the death penalty.
Ncube said thousands of cattle had died in Matabeleland South, Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland North provinces due to lack of pastures and water.
“Chiefs are, therefore, required, in their respective communities, to encourage people to sell part of their livestock so as to avert losses resulting from drought,” he said.
He also encouraged traditional leaders to initiate Zunde Ramabo/Isipala Senkosi programmes to mitigate the effects of recurring food shortages in the country.
Ncube acknowledged that there were some areas where food relief programmes were not reaching intended beneficiaries, saying he had summoned provincial administrators to rectify the problem.
Chiefs took the opportunity to complain against government officials poking their noses into the selection of traditional leaders and the abuse of natural resources to the disadvantage of local communities.
The traditional leaders said they were opposed to the death penalty as they rather preferred the payment of appeasement tokens than capital punishment in cases of murder.
A total of 42 out of 45 chiefs from Mashonaland East and Central who were present concurred that capital punishment was alien to the country’s culture.
Zacro chief executive officers Edson Chiota said it was refreshing to note that many chiefs were against capital punishment.
“The discussion was so mature to the point that almost all the chiefs agreed that capital punishment must be abolished. They believe in appeasement. Chiefs said the act of punishing by killing will not in any way solve the problems of murder in Zimbabwe, hence other forms of punishment must be found,” Chiota said.
Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira also said the death sentence was alien to Zimbabwe’s culture.