Traditional leaders should uphold the constitution and be non-partisan

Heal Zimbabwe condemns the partisan conduct of Buhera North ward 10 Chief Causemore Chimombe. During a ZANU PF campaign rally addressed by First Lady Grace Mugabe, at St Johns Primary school today, 17 February 2017, Chief Chimombe announced that he supports ZANU PF and that he is also ZANU PF District Chairperson.

Source: Traditional leaders should uphold the constitution and be non-partisan – The Zimbabwean 19.02.2017

Chimombe argued that his decision to support ZANU PF was  necessitated by the fact that ZANU PF brought independence to the country hence it deserved support. He went on to warn people that they should “never bite the hand that feeds them” and pointed out that people should be grateful for the donations by the First Lady, Grace Mugabe.

Heal Zimbabwe notes that while Chief Chimombe as an ordinary citizen has a right to belong to any political party, section 281 of the constitution clearly states that, “Traditional leaders must not be members of any political party or further the interest of any political party”. Being a member or supporting a political party compromises their constitutional duties such as resolving disputes amongst people in their communities.

Heal Zimbabwe implores Traditional leaders to uphold the constitution and discharge their constitutional obligations in a non-partisan manner. Heal Zimbabwe also implores political parties to desist from abusing Traditional leaders to further their political interests. Rather, political parties should respect the Traditional institution as an institution mandated by the constitution to facilitate development and resolve disputes amongst people in their communities. Their role helps build peaceful and more tolerant communities.