Zimbabwe’s traditional leaders are fully behind President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership and vision for the country, Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira has said.
At President Mnangagwa’s meeting with chiefs here yesterday, Chief Charumbira said traditional leaders and Zanu-PF were inseparable.
Several chiefs also aired their grievances, including cash shortages, community access to natural resource benefits, non-payment of court allowances, deplorable roads and general welfare issues. The President pledged to resolve the concerns.
Chief Charumbira said, “This meeting is the first with our President and his leadership following the popular Operation Restore Legacy that ushered in a new dispensation. It is an honour to be respected by the President. He has said let me start by meeting chiefs and we are happy he has bestowed us such an honour.
“(Last Friday), we met as chiefs from all parts of the country and said we want to embrace your presidency and Vice-Presidents.
“We have accepted all the work you have done until your elevation. Please conduct your duties in peace and with the assurance that as chiefs and custodians of the land, we have unanimously embraced you and your team. You have our blessings and we are very confident that you will take this nation forward.”
He said they were confident President Mnangagwa would address their grievances as he has always done well before his ascendance to the top job.
“You have been bestowed the constitutional way which is Western. We, as custodians of the land, have accepted you and need to perform certain rites which include giving you a sceptre made from one of our traditional trees, a spear, animal hide and ornaments.
“. . .Let me say that we were stripped of our powers by the whites around 1898 as the settlers displaced us from our resources. Laws that targeted the so-called natives were created around that time, with chiefs being the major targets as they had power to rally the masses against the settlers.
“But we kept on the struggle to free ourselves, culminating in Independence in 1980 and again through Operation Restore Legacy, we have been given more power.”