Zanu (PF) Gags Chiefs

Radio VOP was recently unable to get a comment from a chief about a poor road network in his area.

“I am sorry, I can not comment on record about poor road network in my area as it will be tantamount to undermining Zanu (PF),” he said. “We have been warned not to speak to any journalists or strangers,” said a chief from Hurungwe district. He refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

Another traditional leader from Kariba rural area concured that chiefs were under strict monitoring by secret state agents. He said his area was a drought prone area and was in desperate need of food aid but he was afraid to make a food appeal as this would be like exposing Zanu (PF).

“We would rather die of hunger than expose Zanu (PF). We have been warned not to talk to journalists without police clearance,” he added.

The previous Zanu (PF) government gave traditional leaders vehicles, tractors and a monthly salary so that they remain loyal to the party and mobilise the people under them to vote for Zanu (PF) in the much talked about elections this year.

Radio VOP could not get hold of the chiefs president, Chief Fortune Charumbira. However, chiefs in the past have resolved to rally behind President Robert Mugabe at a conference held last year in Zimbabwe’s resort town of Kariba.