Saturday, June 2, 2018

Chief contests in Zanu PF primaries

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A CHIEF in Mashonaland Central is in the eye of a storm after he allegedly contested the recent Zanu PF primary elections at a time traditional leaders are increasingly under pressure to stop being partisan in line with the country’s constitution.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
An aspiring MDC-T candidate, Leman Pwanyiwa, has since written a letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to register his complaint against the Shamva South traditional leader, Chief Bramwell Bushu.
Through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Pwanyiwa said he would approach the High Court for relief should he not get a response from Mnangagwa.
The letter, dated May 29, was also copied to the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs as well as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
Bushu has been chief since June 2016 after the death of his father, Show.
“We direct, therefore, that Bramwell Bushu be removed as your candidate for the forthcoming harmonised elections and his membership from your party be revoked,” Pwanyiwa said.
According to the Constitution, section 281(2) says traditional leaders are prohibited from being members of political parties or participating in party politics, acting in a partisan manner or further the interests of any political party or cause.
Through his lawyer, Noble Chinhanu of ZLHR, Pwanyiwa said allowing a sitting traditional leader to contest in party politics was prejudicial to him as his presence and office takes away the right to a free and fair contest.
In the past, traditional leaders have been accused of participating in Zanu PF political agendas.
Recently, the High Court censured Chief Fortune Charumbira, the president of the chief’s council, for dabbling in partisan politics after he made remarks that traditional leaders would back Zanu PF in the July elections.
The late Chief Bushu, Show, was a Senator representing the chiefs’ council in Mashonaland Central and died at the age of 81, leaving his son to take
over.
Mnangagwa is yet to respond.