Charumbira offside on this one

HARARE - Last year, just before former president Robert Mugabe was ousted through a military intervention, government had announced it had purchased 226 Isuzu double cabs for traditional chiefs.

The move received mixed reactions, with some opposition parties condemning it as a vote-buying gimmick.

While it is good for government to honour these traditional leaders, it has always been a case of misplaced priorities rather than anything else.

These people live in communities that have suffered a great deal of underdevelopment and it would be prudent for them to realise they cannot live in luxury whilst their subjects wallow in poverty — it’s as simple as that.

It defies logic when children do not have stationary in schools yet their traditional leaders drive luxurious vehicles and dare not raise a finger when government seems to completely ignore the plight of the common people.

Which, sadly, probably explains why Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs president Fortune Charumbira shockingly bragged that a lot of learned people and graduates in the country couldn’t afford to buy the kind of cars given to chiefs.

“…Iyi haisi mota yekutamba nayo ka iyi. Vakawanda vakadzidza, magraduates havakwanisi kuitenga… (This is not a simple car, even graduates cannot afford to buy such a car.)”

Isn’t it an open insult to jobless graduates?

What does it mean to all those hardworking graduates who toil day and night just to make ends meet?

Charumbira of all the people should know we do not expect such a careless statement from him.

Instead, we expect him to be advising government on ways to improve the lives of people both in the rural areas and in cities.

He must be aware we have thousands of unemployed graduates in Zimbabwe and government must be looking for ways to resuscitate our industries and making use of our rich human resource base.

Charumbira has basically failed to lead by example and it has to be stated that this is not expected of traditional chiefs.

He has said a lot of things in support of the perks for chiefs but at the same time he has sold his soul to the ruling elite and in the end he seems to be outdoing himself — to the extent of insulting the same subjects who are supposed to respect him. How can the nation respect people who live in opulence right in the middle of poverty-stricken subjects?

Doctors went on strike the whole of March and the nurses then followed suit soon after.

The pace at which the issues were resolved exposed government on such important matters.

Right now teachers are threatening an industrial action, which will disrupt schools’ opening.

If resources do not permit then everyone has to wait — starting with traditional chiefs themselves.

So, are we wrong to assume that chiefs are far removed from the needs of the people?

Because, the moment there is that gap in the lives of people within the same community — there is definitely going to be a different way of interpreting issues and instead people will end up viewing their traditional chiefs as Zanu PF pawns.

We expect chiefs to pressure government into bringing development to the rural communities but when they seem content with the status quo then we cannot move forward as a country.

And we will just assume, they are satisfied with their assumed statuses so they will not be able to see the poverty that surrounds them.

Charumbira must stop being reckless with words, we respect chiefs and they must respect their subjects.

Comments (2)

Chief Charumbira was on the positive and you are seeing the negative thats in you . You see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear . All you want is to have the chiefs suffering when you are paid well but have never given to those who lack . The chiefs deserve their benefits .

Hayibo. - 8 May 2018

This kind of boating and lack of understanding is bringing our country down. In a country with a sound economy any graduate can afford to buy even 2 of these cars. Shut up Charumbira!

chipembere - 10 May 2018

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