Gweru – Zimbabwe’s President, Emmerson Mnangagwa has continued on his drive to restore dignity to traditional chiefs in the Southern African country by pledging financial support, vehicles and building of trial courts.
Mnangagwa met the chiefs here in Gweru and handed over 52 cars, while promising that more were on the way.
“There are 52 cars here today. 26 more will arrive next week and so on. All of you will get their cars before elections but today we will distribute 42 cars, 6 cars per province,” said Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa’s government has re-affirmed its commitment to restoring dignity and respect to traditional chiefs, whose influence and power was illegally constrained and stripped by white settlers who colonised the country.
Mnangagwa has long fought for the plight of chiefs as evidenced by his efforts to improve the welfare of chiefs.
Following the Tsholotsho debacle, when Mnangagwa was demoted by Robert Mugabe to the position of Minister of Amenities, he built electrified homes for chiefs and lobbied for government to provide cars for the chiefs.
Prior to that, chiefs in remote areas lived in houses without electricity, despite their sacrosanct traditional roles.
Mnangagwa, who has always enjoyed cordial relations with chiefs, and is known to be a huge vanguard of culture, was the man who pushed for chiefs to receive monthly allowances from the government.
He also pushed for their integration into government. He formed the chiefs council resulting in one chief being given a parliamentary seat. Council of chiefs president Fortune Charumbira sits in parliament currently via that ticket today.
Speaking exclusively to Khuluma, a prominent historian, who declined to be named, expressed gratitude towards the efforts of the President.
“It is good that he is pushing for the chiefs to have dignity. Compare our chief’s welfare to that of say South Africa’s Zulu King (Goodwill Zwelithini) or the royal family in UK. We need to make sure our traditional leaders, who are custodians of the Zimbabwean way of life, are afforded respect and live dignified lives befitting their titles.”