Partisan chiefs dragged to Electoral Court

HARARE - Traditional chiefs in Midlands have been dragged to the Electoral Court for shepherding their subjects to polling stations under duress to vote for president-elect Robert Mugabe in the hotly-contested July 31 vote.

Obert Gutu, a lawyer and senior member of Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, confirmed that his law firm was handling 14 petitions against Midlands’ chiefs accused by MDC candidates of interfering with the elections.

“All the 14 petitions are allegations against the traditional chiefs and headmen in how they conducted themselves by being partisan and supporting Zanu PF, Mugabe and also putting their subjects under duress, for example, a chief in Silobela area,” Gutu told the Daily News.

MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the petitions and claimed that during elections, most of the traditional chiefs had influenced their subjects and asked them to vote for Zanu PF and Mugabe.

Chief Mtshane Khumalo, deputy president of the Chiefs Council, confirmed he was aware of the complaints that have been raised by MDC in their petitions.

“I have heard of these allegations that they are making in their petitions,” Khumalo said.

“I know that on the voting day, every political party had their election agents and MDC should have raised those objections on the day of voting and not now when the elections are over. The MDC is making a general statement which is tarnishing our image and status as chiefs. It was going to be good for them if they had specified the chiefs who were doing that.”

Traditional chiefs are enjoined to be non-partisan under the new Constitution.

“Traditional leaders must not be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics, act in a partisan manner, further the interests of any political party or cause or violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of any person,” the new charter says.

On the campaign trail, Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira openly told traditional leaders to support Zanu PF.


Comments (2)

@GUTU ,you are just wasting your energy this case you will be the loser even if you are right ZANU judges will never rule in your favour .COURTS in this country are not for the OPPOSITION THEY belong to ZANU so these chiefs are going to get new cars& packages for this act they did during elections.

CASHTALK - 20 August 2013

The most interesting thing is that the donor money is now coming back to the state coffers through legal means. God loves Zimbabwe. The courts must consider costs on a higher scale to remove this dirty money from the puppets' hands.

reason - 21 August 2013

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