Bill stops chiefs political participation

Source: Bill stops chiefs political participation | The Sunday Mail August 28, 2016

Bulawayo Bureau
Chiefs could soon be barred from being members of political parties, attending political party meetings or compelling their subjects to attend such meetings. According to the Traditional Leaders Bill 2016, chiefs must maintain strict political neutrality when discharging their duties. Section 9(3) item (e) says in exercising their functions, chiefs shall observe the principles set out in sections 164, 164 and 281 of the Constitution, that say they shall not: (i) Act in a partisan manner or further the interest of any political party or cause; or (ii) Solicit funds or contribute towards any political organisation; or (iii) attend political meetings or compel any person to attend a political meeting.

The Bill says, “Before his or her appointment as such, a chief shall declare in writing to the provincial assembly of chiefs and the Minister whether or not he or she is a member of any political party.

“If, on his or her appointment as chief, a chief is a member of any political party, he or she shall within thirty days: (a) resign or otherwise terminate his or her contract membership of that party, and (b) give the minister, through the provincial assembly of chiefs, written proof of such termination.”

Yesterday Zimbabwe Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira said: “We will respect the outcome of the Bill because it is in line with people’s views which are captured in the Constitution. What the Bill prohibits are situations where chiefs become active in politics and assume political offices or being part of party structures.

“(Chiefs) can exercise their freedom of consciousness in protecting the national interest and this means issues to do with land, natural resources and also the well being of people. They will be bound to say something or take certain measures because chiefs are meant to serve people.”

Some of the duties chiefs will be expected to perform include presiding over community courts, controlling commercial exploitation of communal land and promoting good standards of health and education.

They will also help drought and famine relief agencies co-ordinate programmes.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar

    Well said: But does this so-called President of the Chiefs Councils, Fortune Charumbira really understands The Bill? It seem he has already started to misinterpret/misrepresent it before its even approved. This should be very worrying bcoz this is a key person among Chiefs and given his overly exaggerated bookish learning he is certainly going to bound dis-inform and mis-inform even the few well-meaning chiefs we have in his council.

    Secondly. does Fortune also appreciate that the Bill seeks to bring to a stop his own behavior of playing zanu Pf political commissar @ communal gathering (especially under his chieftainship) where he literally & routinely threatens to chase away all those non-zanu pf supporters from the charumbira communal land. This is one notorious chief who still lives in the stone age era. In any case, he is an illegitimate zanu pf chief – all the Charumbira people knows him as such. He is not a chief according to the Charumbira people, his a mere zanu pf imposed stooge. So is he now going to stop his ass-licking antics that sustain his chieftains? Nxaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 6 years ago

    “Chiefs could soon be barred from being members of political parties, attending political party meetings or compelling their subjects to attend such meetings. According to the Traditional Leaders Bill 2016, chiefs must maintain strict political neutrality when discharging their duties. Section 9(3) item (e) says in exercising their functions, chiefs shall observe the principles set out in sections 164, 164 and 281 of the Constitution, that say they shall not: (i) Act in a partisan manner or further the interest of any political party or cause; or (ii) Solicit funds or contribute towards any political organisation; or (iii) attend political meetings or compel any person to attend a political meeting.”
    THIS IS NOT APPLICABLE IN ZIMBABWE UNDER THE DICTATORIAL RULE OF ZANU PF, any entity which can not respect its own constitution, let alone a mere mandate.