EU unamused by partisan traditional chiefs

THE European Union (EU) has criticised political partisanship among the country’s traditional chiefs, reiterating its stance that co-operation with the new authorities of the land can only be through shared values of democracy and the rule of law.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Justice Sector programme launch yesterday, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme expressed his concern at the reported cases of political bias being shown by some traditional leaders.


Van Damme reminded the government that this could compromise the credibility of the forthcoming general elections, which most international bodies have set as a yardstick for Zimbabwe to prove its willingness to embrace agreed principles of democracy.
“The EU is concerned about the government’s failure to publicly dissociate themselves from the partisan and discriminatory statements and attitudes. Partisan behaviour by officials and traditional leaders compromises the fairness and credibility of the electoral process.

“Impartiality, fairness and non-partisanship are among the qualities of a traditional leader espoused in the Constitution,” Van Damme said.

Traditional leaders have repeatedly been accused by opposition parties of campaigning and being manipulated by the ruling party to garner votes in rural areas, where over 60% of the Zimbabwean population resides

Last week the European body reaffirmed its availability to engage constructively with the new government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. But it underlined that this was only possible under guidelines of “a mutual commitment to shared values focused on human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law”.

The Zimbabwe Justice Sector Programme has injected $17 million for the promotion of justice and the rule of law, with a specific programme being run with the Legal Resource Foundation to capacitate chiefs and headmen in the correct application of the law and respect for human rights.

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi’s reiterated government’s commitment to promoting and preserving justice and the rule of law in the run-up to the imminent general elections.

“There is need to respect each other, our rights and our position and to have everyone live freely in this country. We are committed to ensuring that we have credible and fair elections, and the credibility of elections is hinged on the way we behave ourselves and all this is premised on how we respect the rule of law,” he said.


  1. Ed has just bought them all new cars……what do you expect?

    1. You make it look like ED took money from his account and bought these useless ticks cars. It is the tax payers money. Once people understand that they will be empowered to kick out any leader any time by making free political decisions. How do the cars benefit rural people who have hardly got anything to eat, wear or hope? If the village heads had asked for ambulances to ferry the sick or trucks to carry and distribute food one would see leadership. Instead greed and stupidity runs supreme. Zanu PF is a party of backwardness – they would like to perpetuate rural poverty so that the rural folk remain eternally grateful to them – for what? The rural people must wake up and denounce these cruel people.

  2. These Europeans make me laugh at times. Havana kukwana zveshuwa and its no longer a joke. Its simple: Zimbabwean traditional chiefs have no business amusing the EU. If the EU want to be amused by such people, they should create their own in the EU.

    1. but they the gvt has to “amuse” the EU, ed is desperate for legitimacy, especially EU legitimacy.

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