Saturday, 28 October 2017


GOVERNMENT has slammed the opposition for politicising the allocation of service vehicles to chiefs following the recent procurement of 226 Isuzu double cab cars for the traditional leaders. Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, said it was ridiculous for opposition parties to go against Government’s efforts to improve the welfare of local chiefs.

He said this in Bulawayo at the National Chiefs Conference which began yesterday. President Mugabe is expected to address the traditional leaders today. MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu seemed to question Government’s rationale in purchasing the vehicles. But Minister Kasukuwere said the opposition was unnecessarily politicising the matter. “Chiefs’ vehicles are not a question for debate,” he said.

“Some of the opposition parties have been making a lot of noise over the procurement of vehicles for chiefs. Yesterday, the MDC-T was querying the Government’s decision to purchase vehicles for chiefs. Yet he (Gutu) is an MP who also received a vehicle from Government.

“He questions why Government bought vehicles for chiefs. That’s where you realise the level of thinking of some of the people in the country. How can one be angry over Government’s decision to buy cars for chiefs?” Minister Kasukuwere said Government will remain committed towards improving the living conditions of traditional leaders.

He said the annual chiefs’ conference allowed the President and ministers to interact with the traditional leaders to learn about their challenges and how they can be addressed. He decried fights of chieftainships calling for families to follow procedures in choosing a new chief.

“We are concerned that when a chief dies there is always a problem over the installation of another one. Please let’s go back to our traditions and allow the leading house to take over the chieftainship. We should not make excuses as this is clear, a chief comes from the house where another chief originated from,” said Minister Kasukuwere.

The Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira bemoaned the fact that traditional leaders were not receiving allowances for presiding over traditional courts. He challenged the ministers not to sideline the traditional leaders on issues of relevance. Several ministers made presentations on issues relating to their portfolios to the traditional leaders while others are set to continue the engagement today. herald


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