HARARE – The Election Resource Centre (ERC) has dragged president of the National Council of Chiefs (NCC) Fortune Charumbira (pictured) to the High Court, seeking to force him to retract statements rallying other chiefs to support the ruling Zanu PF in this year’s general elections.
Charumbira, NCC and Local Government minister July Moyo are cited as the respondents.
Trust Maanda, who is ERC’s chairperson of the board of trustees, in his affidavit said Charumbira’s statements demanding chiefs to support Zanu PF were unlawful and unconstitutional.
“The respondent (Charumbira) has acted unlawfully and moreover has failed in his constitutional duty to respect and uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe by staying nonpartisan and away from party politics, to respect the institution of traditional leadership and not bring the institution into disrepute and to not infringe the rights and fundamental freedoms of people,” Maanda said.
The application cited remarks Charumbira made in October last year at a meeting of the NCC, where he called on chiefs to support Zanu PF and its presidential candidate in this year’s elections.
“Former president (Robert) Mugabe having been deposed and president (Emmerson) Mnangagwa having taken over, on January 14, 2018, the first respondent (Charumbira) repeated his remarks that chiefs support the new president.”
According to Maanda, his organisation is now seeking an order declaring that Charumbira’s remarks violated the Constitution of Zimbabwe and that he be directed to retract the statements he made by publishing a counter statement in a newspaper with national circulation, on national radio and on national television.