HARARE , Silobela Chief, Malisa, has drawn criticism for ordering his subjects to vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the upcoming Zimbabwean general elections. Speaking during Independence Day celebrations at Mutimutema Secondary School, the chief urged his subjects to support Mnangagwa and ensure he receives six million votes.
Despite Zimbabwe’s Constitution forbidding traditional leaders from engaging in partisan politics, Malisa endorsed Mnangagwa, citing the President’s development projects in the area, such as the construction of dams.
Malisa’s remarks have drawn criticism from opposition parties, who accuse the ruling ZANU PF party of exploiting traditional leaders to gather support ahead of elections. Some have called for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to investigate the matter.
While the government has faced allegations of using state-sponsored violence and intimidation to influence election outcomes in the past, the issue in Silobela underscores the need for greater clarity and enforcement of Zimbabwe’s laws governing the involvement of traditional leaders in politics. Chapter 15 section 281 (2) of the Zimbabwean Constitution expressly forbids traditional leaders from being members of any political party, participating in partisan politics, furthering the interests of any political party, or violating the fundamental rights and freedoms of any person. Violations of these rules can compromise the discharge of traditional leaders’ duties, such as resolving disputes among people in their communities.
Source -MasimbaNews ✍🏿