CHIEF Chipuriro of Guruve has accused the district COVID-19 taskforce of sidelining him in the fight against the deadly pandemic even though he has been playing a pivotal role in information dissemination.
BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
Speaking at a devolution meeting organised by Institute for Young Women’s Development (IYWD) in Guruve on Wednesday, the chief said he was educating his subjects on COVID-19 on his own.
“Our district taskforce is not working with me, I do not know whether they hate me or they look down upon me. We should be working together as tasked by our President, but they leave me out in fighting COVID-19 pandemic,” lamented the chief.
“I have books that I was given by the President on COVID-19 pandemic which I move around giving out and teaching my people on how to fight the deadly disease. Now that we have a taskforce here, why is it that they do not work with me?”
IYWD team leader Glanis Changachirere said the constitutionally-installed traditional leaders should be respected.
“Traditional leaders are installed by the Constitution of the country, so other government departments should recognise and work with chiefs in the spirit of constitutionalism.”
She further said IYWD was moving around the province monitoring the implementation of devolution.
“We are trying to assess and monitor the implementation of the devolution by local authorities while making efforts in seeking accountability on how they are mobilising and allocating resources to young women.”
Guruve COVID-19 taskforce chairperson Romeo Shangwa in a speech read on his behalf said: “We are working with various organisations that include the council, Zimbabwe National Army, police and Ministry of Health in the taskforce. However, we are facing serious problems from the business community who are not enforcing social distancing.”
Shangwa added: “In Guruve we do not have enough personal protective equipment.”
Young women present at the meeting condemned brutality by security forces.
“We are being brutalised by members of the ZNA. They assault us and demand free sex, a situation that is really tormenting us,” lamented Catherine Gora.
Chief Chipuriro called on the taskforce to ensure those enforcing orders were not infringing community members’ rights.
Army spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore referred questions to the public relations department whose line went unanswered.
“I am on sick leave, please contact our public relations team on the landline,” he said.