Mash Central chief pledges allegiance to ED

A TRADITIONAL leader in Mbire district, Mashonaland Central province has openly pledged allegiance to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu PF party ahead of the 2023 polls.

Chief Muzarabani, born Alfonce Chuzu, joins several other chiefs in the country who have pledged allegiance to Zanu PF despite a High Court ruling which barred chiefs from engaging in partisan politics.

The Constitution requires traditional leaders to be non-partisan.

“When we distribute inputs, we try to make the community see that it is the President’s intervention and because of this we expect a 100% win as we are supporting our President,” Chief Muzarabani said.

“As chiefs, we support the ruling party, we cannot look for another party that we do not know when we are within the ruling party and are benefitting . . . for now I declare that I am Zanu PF.”

Local government expert Precious Shumba said the ruling party regards traditional leaders as their community mobilisers a election time given their influence among the people.

“There is need for real engagement on the role of traditional leaders in this modern society where democracy should be enjoyed by all citizens as equal before the laws of the country,” Shumba said.

Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo said: “This calls for institutions such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to look into these issues and ensure the Constitution is upheld.”

Methuseli Moyo, a former journalist and academic said: “In reality, chiefs as individuals also have a right to political choice. It however becomes a problem when they use their powers to coerce subjects on political issues.”

 Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director, Blessing Vava said traditional leaders were abusing their authority.

Follow Lorraine on Twitter @RMuromo

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