Chief Exposed For Vote Buying Using Blankets
19 July 2018
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Chief Fortune Charumbira

Chief Musarurwa allegedly tried to bribe other traditional leaders with blankets ahead of yesterday’s elections for the posts of president and deputy president of the Chiefs Council.

It is understood that Chief Musarurwa, who wanted to contest Chief Charumbira for the presidency, made a last-minute withdrawal on Tuesday night after most traditional leaders rejected his manoeuvres and exposed him.

This saw Chief Charumbira winning the elections uncontested.

Chief Charumbira’s deputy, Chief Mtshane Khumalo from Matabeleland North, was also nominated without any contest to retain the post.

Chief Musarurwa was reportedly working with businessman Mr Stanley Kasukuwere, who was trying to influence traditional leaders from his home province, Mashonaland Central.

Several traditional leaders interviewed by state media confirmed Chief Musarurwa wanted to bribe them.

Chief Chiwara said Chief Musarurwa had approached him.

“I met him when I was coming out of my room to have food (at Rainbow Towers),” he said. “He told me that we had to finish the job as we could not continue to be ruled by the current president of the Chiefs Council.

“He then said he has my parcel downstairs. I later learnt they were blankets which had been bought for me after he went downstairs with Chief Mazungunye’s son. I categorically told them that I don’t even want to see the blankets as I have blankets at home.

“I told them that if it was about voting, that was my right and I would exercise that secretly without being influenced.”

Chief Mazungunye of Bikita also confirmed Chief Musarurwa’s shenanigans.

“He personally phoned me while I was on my way to Harare,” he said. “He phoned again after I had checked in into the hotel. He came and knocked at my door before telling me to vote for him saying he was my son.

“He then said he had gifts which he was giving people and he wanted me to benefit. I then instructed my driver to go with him while I told Chief Charumbira and my provincial chairperson Chief Chitanga. We wanted the blankets to come and use them as exhibit. When they came, pictures of the blankets were taken.”

Chief Musarurwa and Mr Kasukuwere yesterday denied the allegations.

“I don’t know about that,” said Chief Musarurwa. “If there is a chief who came with the blankets, he bought them for himself. But does it mean we don’t have to associate? In elections, everyone uses various means to succeed, but I don’t know about the allegations.”

Mr Kasukuwere said: “I am young and have nothing to do with chiefs. Chief Chiweshe is from my area, but I don’t even know what chiefs were doing. I just read about it in the press. I don’t get anything from that.”

Mr Kasukuwere is said to have spent the better part of Tuesday with Chief Musarurwa and Chief Chiweshe, having meetings at Rainbow Towers Hotel and Harare Showgrounds.

He is alleged to have offered Chief Chiweshe four beasts to back Chief Musarurwa.

Chief Chiweshe responded: “That’s not the story. I don’t want to talk to you.”

Chief Charumbira and Chief Mtshane retain their positions as leaders of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs, positions that automatically make them Senators.

The election was conducted by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) officials at Mkwati Building in Harare ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections.

Chief Charumbira comes from Masvingo province, while Chief Mtshane is from Matabeleland North.

State Media