Chiefs to lead village campaign for 'Yes' vote

MASVINGO - Traditional chiefs will lead a grassroots civic education programme to campaign for the adoption of the draft constitution in a referendum set for March 16.

The programme will see the traditional leaders going into villages to interpret the draft constitution to the villagers who they say lack understanding of the document.

Speaking to the Daily News on the sidelines of an annual chiefs’ conference underway in Masvingo, Chiefs Council leader Fortune Charumbira said traditional leaders will play a leading role because of their connection to grassroots communities.

“We have brought copies of the draft constitution that we will give to every chief who is here. They will then take it to their people to interpret the document as we kick start our ‘Yes’ vote campaign,” Charumbira said.

Charumbira said traditional leaders will be backing the draft but they still have reservations with some clauses, which he said need revision.

“We are fully behind the draft constitution but there are some clauses and sections that need to be refined and we will continue to fight for that,” he said.

The chiefs are unhappy that the draft constitution has clipped some of their powers over land matters.

“All rural land should be placed under the control of chiefs but this draft does not allow us to do that. That is why we say there is need for some fine-tuning, but we will however, go for the “yes” vote and make sure that our people are fully aware of the process and document ahead of the referendum,” he said.

The traditional leaders’ conference ends on Saturday and will be officially opened by President Robert Mugabe today. - Godfrey Mtimba

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