Picture Bereu has been acting Chief Chundu for nearly three years following the death of his father Josias. Late last year traditional leaders in the area forwarded the substantive chief of the area.
“ Last year traditional leaders led by Mhondoro Mubaiwa forwarded Kazizi Chundu to the local district administrator to take over chieftainship after going through traditional vetting and rituals. The DA then made formalities that saw senior government officials attending the ceremony in October last year but Picture Chundu refused to vacate the throne , ” said one elder Daniel Bhiriyadhi of Nyamasoka village in Chitindiva area.
Villagers here claim that Picture Chundu has vowed not to handover the throne to the new chief saying his mission is to make sure Zanu (PF) is of power. He mobilised support for the party but lost councillorship to the Movement Democratic Change (MDC-T) candidate Paddington Chavhuruma.
“ Bereu has the backing of Zanu (PF) and senior government officials and is using political muscle to stay put but is misinformed.Traditionally he is not accepted and his refusal to leave power has created confusion to the local people, ” said a close relative of Bereu.
Although Hurungwe DA Tendai Chirara was not immediately available for comment, junior officers confirmed that there were two chiefs for the area. “ Bereu’s salary and that of the new chief are still being paid by the government.As civil servants, we are caught between tradition and party politics, ” said a junior official who declined to be named for professional reasons.
Bereu was hostile when approached for comment saying: “ Why do you want to tarnish my image and Zanu (PF) over these petty issues?” before walking away.
Some chiefs have become partisan and have barred opposition meetings in their areas in a bid to stay in Zanu (PF),s good books.