‘Kill me if you want’: Chief Murinye dares Chiwenga in row over Mnangagwa criticism

HARARE – A chief facing a government investigation for criticising the Zimbabwe government’s failure to deal with corruption has reacted to threats by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, telling the former army general: “Kill me if you want, I don’t care.”

Chief Murinye of Masvingo sparked panic in government when he said President Emmerson Mnangagwa “will not cross 2023” if he fails to deal with his corrupt lieutenants. He was referring to the next elections due in two years.

The outspoken traditional leader also said Zimbabwe was ripe for a military coup, similar to the one that catapulted Mnangagwa to power in November 2017.

In the wake of his comments, over 250 chiefs were corralled to a meeting with Mnangagwa and Chiwenga in Harare last Thursday where the vice president told the them that criticising Mnangagwa “is never done.”

“The chieftaincy is given, and the chieftaincy can also be withdrawn,” Chiwenga railed, while ordering the local government minister July Moyo to investigate Chief Murinye.

Unbowed, Chief Murinye has refused to be gagged.

“Kill me if you want, I don’t care. I already died,” the avowed Zanu PF supporter said in an audio recording sent to a Zanu PF WhatsApp group. “Even if I’m dethroned, I will stand for justice.”

In a seven-minute recording, Chief Murinye exposed how Zanu PF abuses food aid as a political mobilisation tool.

He recounted a time when they side-lined an MDC Alliance councillor from a programme of distributing aid and replaced him with a “shadow Zanu PF councillor.” The move backfired when the “shadow councillor” allegedly looted fertilisers from a warehouse, leaving people with nothing.

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