Chief Says Traditional Leaders Should Be Given More Benefits
One traditional leader in Zimbabwe has requested that the government provide them with additional benefits to earn more respect from their subjects.
This request comes soon after President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledged to give top-of-the-range cars to chiefs, a move viewed as a strategy to ensure traditional leaders’ support for ZANU PF in the upcoming elections.
However, Chief Svosve of Hwedza believes that traditional leaders deserve more benefits than just cars. Svosve told NewsDay on the sidelines of an agriculture field day in Hwedza on Thursday:
We have MPs (Members of Parliament) given cars to work with so why should we not be given cars, loans and seating allowances.
Chiefs should be treated with respect and be given more perks.
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In fact, we are being short-changed as we should be treated as kings and given spacious houses and bodyguards to protect us.
Back in the day, kings and chiefs commanded respect and it was not easy to access the chief because of his barricaded kingdoms. That’s what we want.
His request comes as Zimbabwe is experiencing a financial crisis characterised by hyperinflation, foreign currency shortages, a lack of confidence in the local currency, and high levels of debt. The financial crisis has also resulted in widespread poverty, high levels of unemployment, and a shortage of essential goods and services.
Chief Svosve also requested that the government grant traditional leaders the authority to arrest and punish individuals who commit sexual offences, engage in early marriages, and perpetrate adultery. He emphasized that traditional leaders do not tolerate such behaviour and should be given the power to take action against such offenders.
Chief Svosve made these comments amidst allegations of sexual assault against another traditional leader, Chief Fortune Charumbira, who serves as the President of the Council of Chiefs and Chairman of the Pan African Parliament. Charumbira is accused of sexually assaulting his niece.