‘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.”

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