Free Zupco transport for traditional leaders

The Chronicle

Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief
TRADITIONAL leaders will no longer have to pay transport fares on all Zupco buses across the country, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga told mourners at the homestead of the late Chief Nhlamba in Gwanda yesterday.

Chief Nhlamba, who died last weekend after a long illness at the age of 75, was granted a State-assisted burial and will be laid to rest at his rural home in Garanyemba today.

Born Dennis Ndlovu, Chief Nhlamba was installed on July 16, 2010 and had served the traditional leadership institution for 12 years.

The Late Chief Nhlamba

Responding to a passionate plea on the welfare of traditional leaders made by Headman Dubane at the late Chief Nhlamba’s homestead, Dr Chiwenga said traditional leaders were the custodians of the land and should be treated with respect.

“The good thing is that the Minister of Local Government will be here tomorrow (today). I wish I would’ve also been around so that we talk about it in his presence. Traditional leaders will not have to pay transport fares on Zupco buses starting tomorrow (today). Our chiefs are the custodians of our culture and owners of this soil,” said Dr Chiwenga.

Dr Chiwenga extended his condolences to the late Chief Nhlamba’s family saying the traditional leader was development oriented.

“His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has sent me to extend his heartfelt condolences to the Nhlamba family, the community, the Matabeleland South province and the nation at large on the untimely death of Chief Nhlamba. I wish also, on my own behalf, to extend my deepest condolences to the Nhlamba family during this difficult time. The late chief was keen to see Government programmes and projects implemented in his area. For instance, he mobilised the community to participate in the construction of Tuli-Manyange Dam in this area. In addition, the chief was a member of the anti-stock theft unit,” said Dr Chiwenga.

The late Chief Nhlamba

“Under the Second Republic, His Excellency the President has said no one and no place should be left behind. This is why you see there is rushed development in all the regions which had been left behind for so many years, particularly region four and five around the country. Tuli-Manyange was not only going to provide water in Matabeleland South but water was also going to be sold to neighbouring Botswana. That would bring a lot of development in this area.”

When the Vice-President announced that chiefs will not pay Zupco when travelling, Headman Dubane had raised concerns that private transport operators do not require traditional leaders to pay bus fares but the parastatal was demanding that they pay.

“We’re optimistic that all that we’ve been promised will come. We’re lucky to have the Vice-President in our midst and we can highlight our challenges such as that of Zupco demanding that traditional leaders pay transport fares. Green Horse and other private transport operators don’t demand transport fares from us, unlike Zupco,” said Headman Dubane.

The late Chief Nhlamba’s young brother, Mr Jeffrey Ndlovu expressed gratitude to Dr Chiwenga and President Mnangagwa saying the family was grateful for the support rendered during its dark hour.

Zupco buses

“We didn’t expect this gift and couldn’t have managed the expenses by ourselves. May God continue to lead you. Thank you very much. We also want to thank the Vice-President for consoling us,” said Mr Ndlovu.

Last year, President Mnangagwa handed over vehicles to some traditional leaders as part of Government’s ongoing programme to ensure chiefs are mobile and to restore their dignity.

Government recently announced a package for chiefs that will see them getting foreign currency allowances, medical aid, monthly fuel coupons and air time for ease of communication.

Their cars will also be serviced by Government and they will receive brand new ones after every five years. The development follows concerns that some traditional chiefs have been failing to execute their duties due to lack of resources.

This was due to broken down vehicles or lack of fuel but that is set to be a thing of the past as the Second Republic has taken a deliberate position to capacitate the constitutionally recognised traditional leaders.

Traditional leaders are the vanguard of traditional values in the wake of cultural imperialism. – @Yolisswa

Article Source: The Chronicle

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