'Nothing wrong in giving chiefs cars, but...'

HARARE - Opposition MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa has said there is nothing wrong in giving chiefs cars, arguing the move makes the traditional leaders respectable.

His remarks come amid furore over President Robert Mugabe’s government’s move to buy the chiefs cars, with most complaining that it is a vote-buying gimmick.

But speaking at a rally in Chikomba recently, Chamisa said chiefs must be given their own budget.

“I heard some people complaining saying why did government give chiefs cars.

“There is nothing wrong about that. The problem is that when you are in a dessert you end up asking why someone received a drop of water but when you are in an ocean you will never ask that because you all have water,” he said.

“We are going to improve the lives of our traditional chiefs; we are going to allow chiefs to do their work independently without any interference from the government,” Chamisa promised.

“We want our chiefs to be given Zunde ramambo or King’s court so that they will be respected, they must be given their own budget and told not to interfere in politics, and they don’t belong to Zanu PF or MDC.

“Chiefs and their assistants must all be given cars you are going to see when we form the new government it will be easy to buy a car.

However, Chamisa seems to be contradicting with party spokesperson Obert Gutu who recently said that government should not give chiefs vehicles.

“Recently, the Zanu PF regime announced that it had purchased 226 Isuzu twin–cab vehicles for the 226 chiefs in Zimbabwe.

“The timing of this announcement obviously coincided with the dawn of the electioneering season in the country.

“It, thus, cannot escape scrutiny that there is a sinister and ulterior motive behind the Zanu PF regime’s decision to buy motor vehicles for chiefs at this juncture.

“At a time when the public health delivery system has virtually collapsed and when most of the country’s district hospitals do not even have an ambulance, one can easily conclude that the decision to buy these motor vehicles for the chiefs is nothing but a blatant vote–buying exercise by the desperate, crumbling and bankrupt Zanu PF regime.

“Chief Fortune Charumbira, the president of the Chiefs’ Council, was recently quoted openly calling upon chiefs to campaign for Zanu PF in the forthcoming election because the Zanu PF regime had bought them cars.”

Comments (10)

It would seem that Chamisa wants to woo the chiefs. If a leader in his position sees nothing wrong with using scarce forex to buy cars; when we don't have enough medicines in the hospital, then he needs to rethink his principles. Chamisa has always baffled me about the sense of entitlement where politicians are concerned.

umSotho - 14 November 2017

both men are correct! gutu is seeing & commenting in the heat of the moment while nelson is commenting at a macro scale! there is neither paradox nor contradiction in the comments of these men but the media must have summerised & left out a lot of information that would have allowed readers to understand what they are saying and; surely, this short srticle can not be enough research material to conclude that nelson & gutu are contradicting one another.

SaManyika Chaiye - 14 November 2017

i find no prob in traditional chiefs' vehicle acquisitions. they fought a good fight and up to date their support should be widely accepted.

Scombo - 14 November 2017

chamisa anorova musombodhiya chete.

josphat mugadzaweta - 14 November 2017

there is everything wrong with this sense of entitlement and chief buying. and Scombo most chiefs are turncoats what good fight are you talking about the good chiefs were rooted out during the regime and replaced by those that were favourable to the colonial regime, Furthermore they are partisan espicially the chief of cheifs himself plays to the gallery and are clueless to legislation anyway they have their place and should remain there they are costly edifice we dont need right now at this rate, anyway whats this obession with cars vanoda kuenda kupi their subjects come to them they dont go to their subjects, they better be glad i am not a president the whole would be making do with bicycles and transport allowances for meetings i will not be buying their vote with tax payer hard earned dollar

lewis - 14 November 2017

Can this be NEWS at all! Of course anyone can get a car or whatever, and can be supported, that is if the resources for supporting are available. A little bit of cheap politicking when we send a message to the populace that Chiefs are more important persons than the kids who are hungry and homeless. Chamisas should be telling the PEOPLE that MDC cares for the suffering and under-priviledged, and those that have been pushed to periphery, in order to win hearts and souls of the PEOPLE. Don't project a picture that when you are in power, you will cater for the influential in society. Village politics at its best, nyaya dzepandari nana sabhuku! GET REAL!!!

Will Blackman - 14 November 2017

Chamisa definitely is just childish and can be a problem in the future, he can not be trusted with a senior office.

disaster - 15 November 2017

Everything is wrong with giving chiefs cars... its vote buying...overburdened citizenry cannot afford that extra cost...resources are for all not just the elite.

sinyo - 15 November 2017

Personally I think the institution of Chiefs should be abolished if we are serious about development as a country. This is not because I have anything wrong about Chiefs but when I look back into History, I only see these chiefs on the wrong side of history. If we had rare breeds of Chiefs like Tangwena, who stood with people against all odds, I would be happy to see chiefs getting these perks but sadly most of them have been found to support any political order of the day despite its errors. Its just because during the colonial days, they were transformed to be such. In four decades, they cheered and actively participated in atrocities committed to retain Mugabe, while he was muzzling the economy wantonly. Many a people wallowed in untold misery and not even a word against all the horrors committed by Mugabe. They will do the same to Mnangagwa and whoever after him. Thats exactly why Chamisa wants to woo them, he just knows even if the MDC were to come to power, these voiceless chiefs would just do anything possible to keep it in power inspite of all failures as long as they get their perks. If we need a healthy democracy, where change of leadership occurs smoothly when needed, then its time we seriously think about anti-change, pro-government of th time institution of chiefs. Not until we see the resurrection of the Tangwena model of Chiefs.

The Preacher - 17 January 2018

Chamisa imhata

Emmerson Mnangagwa - 17 January 2018

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