MASVINGO— The president of the chief’s council Fortune Charumbira has shot down claims by rights groups and opposition political parties that he is a Zanu PF member saying he does not belong to any political party but subscribes to the values and principles of the ruling party.
Charumbira said that the chiefs share the same liberation ethos as those of Zanu PF and they are both fighting for their people.
“I hear people saying that I am a member of Zanu PF but that is not true. I am not a member of Zanu PF but I identify with the principles and values of the ruling party.
“Zanu PF fights to defend the freedom of our people and as chiefs we subscribe to that. I am not in any Zanu PF structure and hold no membership card to the party.
“Chiefs belong to everyone regardless of political affiliation and we are not political. There are people who vote for different political parties because they identify with their values but not necessarily on membership basis,” said Charumbira.
Asked if he would attend opposition rallies the same way he does with Zanu PF rallies, Charumbira said he would not because it will give a wrong connotations.
“I will never attend opposition rallies because it is not right to do so. But that does not mean I do not interact with them. I can even call MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and discuss issues but I can never have a meeting with him.
“Chiefs have been accused of threatening people to vote for Zanu PF but that is all lies. Some people judge us by what we say on Zanu PF rallies but they fail to understand the deeper meaning of our words.
“Chiefs work with the government of the day and in our case we have Zanu PF in charge,” said Charumbira.
Charumbira has been dragged to court on numerous occasions for openly declaring his support for Zanu PF when the constitution compels the traditional leadership to be apolitical.