Traditional Leaders Get Election Sweeteners

The increment of allowances of headman, acting headman, village head, messenger of chief and messenger of headman are contained in Statutory Instrument 148 of 2011 published in the Government Gazette dated 23 December, 2011.

A headman now gets a monthly allowance of US$140 up from US50 while an acting headman now gets US$84. A village head now gets US$25 up from US$10, a messenger of chief US$40 while a messenger of headman now takes home US$20 up from US$5.

Critics of Zanu-PF see these increments as sweeteners ahead of fresh polls President Mugabe is thought to be desperate to win against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his stubborn formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T).

Prime Minister Tsvangirai accuses President Mugabe and Zanu-PF of abusing traditional leaders, including chiefs by forcing them to act as the party’s political commissioners.

Recently Chief Negomo summoned the PM to his traditional court to answer to charges of “marrying” during the sacred month of November.

Chief Negomo, with ZANU-PF activists in toe, summoned Tsvangirai to appear before him, a move spurned by the premier who said he would not be appearing before the chief’s court.

But Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T national spokesman said: “What is clear is that Zanu-PF and State security agents are abusing this chief as part of their propaganda war against the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

“While the MDC has tremendous respect for the institution of traditional leaders in this country, it has no respect for those traditional leaders who offer themselves as willing and overzealous stooges of political parties especially Zanu-PF.”