by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwean government has distributed high-range vehicles to traditional chiefs and village heads, a move seen as rewarding them for influencing their subjects to vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling party during recent harmonised elections.
Critics have been left questioning the timing of the distribution, which
came a day after Mnangagwa’s inauguration attended by regional leaders in the capital Harare on Sunday.
The distribution has been held at the headquarters of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in the capital city.
More than 90 chiefs and village heads from around the southern African
country received 4×4 (SUV) vehicles.
“All the chiefs now have their cars except in areas where the chiefs are
yet to be installed,” Mnangagwa, who officially handed over the cars,
The new president said there had been delays in buying the traditional
leaders’ cars due to acute shortages of foreign currency.
He also revealed government would soon be distributing farming inputs to chiefs and their subjects ahead of the summer cropping season.
“The distribution of inputs under the Presidential Input Scheme is already
underway. We don’t want people to be unprepared when the farming season starts. As government, we have said the inputs should be distributed on time,” Mnangagwa said.
In defiance of the constitution, chiefs have played a partisan role in
Zimbabwean politics and are cited as the cornerstone of ZANU-PF’s
stranglehold on power since independence in 1980. ZANU-PF won a two thirds parliamentary landslide in the July 30 poll.
During elections, including the one held at the end of July, Zimbabwe’s
traditional are accused of pressuring their subjects to vote for the
Chiefs are accused of denying opposition supporters food aid and farming inputs in the drought-prone country.
The violations were among a number of issues raised by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance to challenge the election of Mnangagwa.
Nelson Chamisa, leader for MDC-Alliance vehemently rejected the election outcome as not credible, neither free or fair before accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for being an accomplice in the election rigging.
– CAJ News