Musarurwa told the four days Chiefs Annual Conference that kicked off at Bulawayo’s Large City Hall on Wednesday: “Zimbabwe is ruled by a monarch and President Robert Mugabe is our King. Mugabe is our King who will die ruling Zimbabwe. Those who are saying we should remove him through elections are wasting their time.”
Musarurwa added: “Elections and democracy were brought by the white colonialists. As Zimbabwe traditional chiefs, we do not believe in that, but we believe in our monarch that is why we still support Mugabe, we want him to continue as Zimbabwe leader and not only as Zanu-(PF) leader”.
Musarurwa also blasted magistrate and police saying “they do not respect traditional chiefs’ courts as they don’t enforce their judgments.”
The Chiefs Annual Conference is held under the theme: ’Traditional Leaders:-Realigning Culture and Traditions towards Dynamic Community Development and Empowerment’ and is due to be opened by President Robert Mugabe on Thursday.
At the same meeting, some chiefs demanded guns and diplomatic passports.
“We want guns so that we can protect ourselves, because in our communities there are some people who have no respect for the chiefs. Especially politicians we are asking them to respect us, so that we can live together peaceful in the community,” said Chief Dandawa, chairman in Mashonaland West province.
The chief’s demands for guns came three months after Tongai Matutu; the Deputy Minister of Youth and MDC-T Masvingo Urban constituency MP was convicted of assaulting Chief Serima and fined $100 or five days in prison. But Matutu denied that he assaulted Chief Serima saying Zanu (PF) wanted to fix him.
Speaking at the same occasion Chief Nembire who represented Mashonaland Central province chiefs said the government should give them diplomatic passports.
“We are respected people in the society therefore we should get diplomatic passports. We have said this before,” said Nembire.
He added that the government should drill boreholes at their homes and also give them free fuel.
The traditional chiefs also demanded bodyguards during elections, a share in Community Development Fund (CDF), free duty on vehicles, farms among other things.
The President of the chiefs’ council Chief Fortune Charumbira said “he is not happy that the government takes long to meet their grievances”.
This year the chiefs were invited to the National Annual Chiefs Conference together with their wives.
Present at the conference was Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made who promised to meet the chiefs’ grievances.
Meanwhile spouses of traditional chiefs who are also attending the annual chiefs’ conference with their husbands were taken around on a tour at Matopos National Park.
The wives were transported to the World heritage site in ZUPCO buses decorated with President Robert Mugabe’s campaign posters.
The chief’s spouses are attending the annual retreat for the first time in the history of the conference.
“We used to come to these meetings without our wives. Last year we complained to the Minister of Local government, Ingenious Chombo that we want to came with our wives at such meetings because of the HIV /AIDS pandemic,” said chief Mwapa from Mashonaland East.
The chiefs and their wives have been booked in five star hotels in the city. According to investigations carried out by Radio VOP, bed and breakfast for an individual cost between US$95 and $150.The three day conference is expected to host over 1 000 delegates.