THE Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage ministry is considering broadening the selection of traditional chiefs following a spate of contestations against some appointments.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Addressing traditional leaders yesterday at the annual National Council of Chiefs conference, Rural Development minister Abednico Ncube said the contestations and litigations had forced them into reviewing the appointing criteria.
“Provincial assemblies and National Council of Chiefs now play a pivotal role in the selection and appointment processes. This new development has also seen the evolution of a selection process that is characterised by contestations and disputes,” he said.
“There is, therefore, need to ensure broader consultations during the selection process so as to mitigate contestations and litigation. Essentially, I am happy that several recommendations were made by those provincial assemblies that convened and I expect their robust review and adoption at this important gathering.”
Already there is a row in Masvingo as William Matumbike, a claimant to the Ndanga chieftaincy in Zaka district, is accusing the minister of meddling in the chieftainship. He is leaving no stone unturned to seek reappointment.
In Manicaland, another row concerning the Marange chieftainship has since spilled into the courts resulting in the High Court dethroning the newly-appointed Bernard Murwira Marange on the basis that due procedure was not followed.
He also called on chiefs to continue to abide by the dictates and confines of the Traditional Leaders Act and the Constitution in the execution of their mandate.
The two-day meeting had representatives from across the country. It is a platform, where the council meets and deliberates on the day-to-day endeavours of the traditional leadership of Zimbabwe.
Ncube said the government was working towards improving the traditional leaders’ remuneration.
“Let me reiterate that the government is committed to improving the welfare and overall deportment of traditional leaders. In the past disbursement of your monthly allowances was erratic and inconsistent,” he said.
“We, therefore, migrated to the Salary Service Bureau for chiefs and headmen and mobile money transfers for village heads. Related to procurement of vehicles for chiefs, we continue to engage the Finance and Economic Development ministry, as the matter remains high on our priority list.”