Why Is Mnangagwa Silent On Charumbira? Is He An Accomplice?
20 June 2018
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From chief to criminal , Fortune Charumbira

By Paul Nyathi|President of the National Council of Chiefs (NCC) Fortune Charumbira has failed to comply to a court order that directed him to issue an apology for rallying other chiefs to support the ruling Zanu-PF in this year’s elections.

Charumbira was given seven days within which to issue the apology, which expired on Thursday last week following an application lodged by the Election Resource Centre (ERC) against the chief.

In terms of the Constitution, chiefs are not allowed to participate in political activities or to be seen to be pushing the interests of a particular party.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is seeking election in the upcoming elections has been promising that he will ensure a free and fair election has however remained silent on the whole issue around Charumbira.

Critics have questioned his silence equating him to an accomplice.

ERC director Tawanda Chimhini said that they will follow procedure to bring Charumbira to book over the issue, adding that court orders must be respected to show sincerity in President Mnangagwa’s mantra that elections will be free and fair.

“The ERC will be proceeding using all available remedies to ensure that consequences follow the disregard shown by chief Charumbira. With all due respect to the chief, our chief, my chief, it is unfortunate that he has decided to go down this road.

“Other traditional leaders out there are encouraged to take the court order seriously. Consequences will accrue to every individual that sees it fit to disregard the court order instructing traditional leaders to stay out of partisan politics.

“For the avoidance of doubt, traditional leaders are citizens and have a right to support a political party of their choice. However, they cannot use their role as traditional leaders to compel communities they preside over to support a political party that they have chosen,” Chimhini said.

ERC managed to serve the court order on Charumbira a week ago, which was received by his sister Nyaradzo.

“Court order served on Nyaradzo Charumbira, the sister of chief Fortune Charumbira, who accepted service on behalf of the first respondent (chief Charumbira) at 15:30hrs,” the return of service reads.

According to the application, Charumbira, National Council of Chiefs and Local Government minister July Moyo, were cited as respondents.

Renowned political critic Piers Pigou says that Charumbira’s defiance is bound to destroy Mnangagwa’s reputation ahead of the elections.

“Chief Charumbira is determined to sabotage Zanu PF the party he claims loyalty to. By defying court order he strengths critics case that election conditions are skewed. ED (President Mnangagwa) and govt silence compounds this impression. Why do they do this?”

“Chief Charumbira is now deliberately in contempt of a court… Is this man and the traditional leaders he claims to represent above the law?

Why is Mnangagwa silent on this matter? ” he questions.