. . . defies constitution as he struggles to resurrect ailing political career
…engages overdrive gear to please ‘baffled ED’
Embattled president of the Chief’s Council Chief Fortune Charumbira, who fell out of favour during the run up to 2017 November military assisted takeover due to allegedly selling out to the then First Lady Grace Mugabe, spitted venom defying the national constitution by publicly declaring his unwavering support for Zanu PF during the party’s 19th ordinary conference held in Bindura recently.
Charumbira whose declining political career has been under spotlight since the inception of the new dispensation made the utterances after being given the opportunity to speak in which he said chiefs are the owners of the revolutionary party while others like war veterans are just ‘stakeholders’.
“We as chiefs should not be required to express solidarity messages at gatherings like these. What should have been the ideal scenario was to let the owners of the party (chiefs) speak because we are different from the rest of the delegates here.
“Why should you place us in the same bracket or generalize our presence? The reason for the existence of Zanu PF is all about traditional leadership, injustice for the people of the kingdom for they are the ones who suffered. We are the owners of this party,” claimed Charumbira.
This was a direct violation of the constitution which demands traditional leaders to be apolitical. In 2018, Charumbira was dragged to court by the Election Resource Centre (ERC) for violating the constitution again after he allegedly showed overwhelming allegiance to Zanu PF.
Charumbira went on to brag about his frequent appearances in courts to answer to several charges emanating from lawsuits.
“I have been dragged to the courts several times for standing on platforms like this one but I am not deterred. I will always stand there and no reverse on that issue.
“Spare a thought for us as chiefs. Next time properly invite us as owners of the party. As from today, war veterans bear in your minds that you are shareholders while we are the owners of the party. We are a bit different from the rest, treat us in a peculiar manner, and afford us our position. Others are just are members and shareholders,” he added.
Contacted for elaboration on the matter, Charumbira told the reporter to provide their full name first via text message before he could address questions directed to him but declined the calls afterwards.
“Can you please identify yourself by giving me your name and surname in form of a text then I can talk to you,” he said.
After being sent the details of the reporter he then started declining the calls. Concerted efforts to get comment were fruitless as his mobile eventually went unreachable.
Political commentator Davidson Mugodzwa said the utterances by Charumbira clearly show a complete departure from the rule of law and constitutionalism on the part of the new dispensation.
“What the chief is saying simply is that there has been a complete departure from the rule of law and constitutionalism on part of the new leadership. It is just an expression of anarchy that we are seeing. The reality on the ground is that there is no rule of law.
“Everybody is under the constitution and nobody is above the supreme law of the land. The constitution says traditional leaders should be apolitical so why does he want to operate above the constitution?” said Mugodzwa.
The position of Charumbira has been subject to debate since the demise President Robert Mugabe in 2017 as elements in Zanu PF allegedly linked to G40 have been often persecuted in internal political fights with those belonging to the Lacoste faction stamping authority and indirectly settling former scores.
Several clansmen have claimed he bulldozed his way to the top which has seen his position being contested as fellow kinsmen try to wrestle the chieftaincy.
Recently, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s convoy was attacked in Chief Charumbira’s area of jurisdiction by purported Zanu PF supporters who allegedly accused the MDC Alliance leader of calling for economic sanctions.