Some traditional leaders are expressing concern over being forced to make donations towards the provincial independence celebrations set for Karoi town in Hurungwe district.
The traditional leaders claim there is no need for government and Zanu PF to source financial assistance from suffering rural communities for a national event.
According to leaked WhatsApp chats, village headmen say it is ‘unjustified’ to financially sponsor the independence celebrations.
Mount Darwin district will host the national event to be graced by President Emerson Mnangagwa.
Hurungwe district has five constituencies - Hurungwe Central, Hurungwe East, Hurungwe West, Hurungwe North and Magunje.
There are eight traditional chiefs with several headmen.
According to sources, the chiefs agreed that every headman will donate US$20 towards the celebrations.
It could not be independently verified how much the fundraising committee plans to spend for the function.
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One disgruntled village head said a national event must be paid for by government.
“Why should we use personal resources for a national event? Everyone is facing financial challenges and we cannot afford to donate any single cent for the independence celebrations. Government must use tax money to sponsor the national event,” said the headman.
Others said, although Hurungwe district was agro-based with tobacco and maize production, few farmers would have extra money to spare as they have family commitments.
‘‘Even if one contributes, there is no transport to ferry everyone. You may starve after paying the money. Zanu PF top officials must work out modalities of fundraising for the Uhuru celebrations rather than forcing mere village headmen to source funding. It is uncalled for and unfair,’’ added another traditional leader.
Some suggested that the donations must be channeled towards road and borehole rehabilitation.
‘‘Our rural road network is very poor. I suggest that we pool resources together for such progressive rural development,” added another headman.
‘‘Our boreholes are not being repaired due to lack of resources among other challenges affecting most rural communities. We must focus on things that improve our wellbeing and future.”
Another headman decried that government had neglected their welfare.
‘‘We are getting $7 962.00. This is less than US$10 on the black market so where will I get the money from? It is unfair to ask us to contribute anything towards a public event,” he said.
Meanwhile, preparations for the provincial events are going on with deployment of nearly 300 security forces, including members of Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe National Army, Zimbabwe Air Force and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services doing drills for the celebrations.
They are currently staying at a local boarding school.
Yesterday, Karoi town council workers were face lifting Chikangwe Stadium where the celebrations wil be held.