Friday, 7 August 2020

THE HEADMAN WHO RULES FROM LONDON


A MAKONI headman has scored a first by presiding over the affairs of Mupambawahle Village from his London base.

When the England-based Headman Talkmore Mupambawahle was installed as the sixth Mupambawahle Village leader four years ago, many people were skeptical of the move.

There were murmurs of discontent as most villagers felt that it was improper for the clan to be led by someone who resides more than 10 000km away.

But the 50-year-old traditional leader is utilising modern technology to be in constant touch with developments in his rural area. 

He has been working closely with Makoni Rural District Council; Makoni South Member of National Assembly, Cde Misheck Mataranyika; Ward 26 councillor, Councillor Vesta Marovero and other development partners.

Headman Mupambawahle is a medical professional specialising in mental health.

He last came to Zimbabwe last year in August.

“Running the village from London has not been a challenge for me as the people I lead appreciate what I am doing. When I was installed to lead the village, I seconded my sister, Muzvare Leah Mupambawahle, to act in my absence and the village embraced the move.

“Technology is keeping me in touch with the people. On any issues that need my attention, I usually have tele-conferences with those on the ground. The other local leaders are very co-operative considering that I am far away.

“Sometimes we do WhatsApp conferencing. My sister is very trustworthy because she ensures that what we agree on is implemented,” said Headman Mupambawahle.

When it comes to village gatherings, Headman Mupambawahle addresses his subjects via the phone’s loud speaker.

The traditional leader also revealed that he participates in all the cases that are brought before his court for adjudication.

“I have allocated Muzvare Mupambawahle and the court’s assessors some laptops to enable them to send the transcripts of the cases to me for review. I review all the cases to see if they did the correct thing or not.  

“When handling a difficult case, they call me and we deliberate over the issue. While I am not after passing punitive judgments, I prefer justice for my people. I deliver judgments that make the entire village live in harmony,” said Headman Mupambawahle.

The headman has also helped in spearheading developmental projects in his area, among them roads rehabilitation and the construction of two bridges.

“I have rallied my subjects to mobilise fuel for the road works and the response has been very positive. We are also opening up new roads to make sure that every corner of the village is accessible. We also approached the local MP, Cde Mataranyika, who assisted us with material to construct two bridges,” said Headman Mupambawahle.

Muzvare Mupambawahle said running the village on behalf of her brother has been an eye opening experience, especially considering that she is a woman.

“The villagers are very cooperative and I have not encountered any challenges in executing my duties. They do not treat me as a acting headman, but as a competent Muzvare (a royal title for a princess). Right now there is overwhelming response to our call for the mobilisation of fuel for road construction and rehabilitation projects. So far we have mobilised 2 680 litres from the villagers, more is coming,” said Muzvare Mupambawahle.

Councillor Marovero, who is also Makoni Rural District Council vice-chairperson, said Headman Mupambawahle is doing very well in leading his village and coordinating development through his proxies.

“So far everything is progressing well in the village. Headman Mupambawahle is a hands-on person and we have no regret in having him directing operations from his London base,” said Councillor Marovero. Manica Post



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