Work with traditional leaders multinational companies urged

    Bulawayo Bureau

    Multinational companies exploiting resources in Matabeleland North have been advised to work with traditional leaders, the province’s Governor and Resident Minister Thokozile Mathuthu has said.

    Addressing chiefs from the province at the inaugural Traditional Leader’s Day hosted by the Zimbabwe National Army in Hwange yesterday, Govenor Mathuthu said miners should empower the local communities. "New mining companies coming into the province are now required to provide for the chiefs.

    "They have been instructed to give chiefs cars, provide for them and the community to complement Governments efforts in providing for them." She said while Government had done a lot to empower chiefs, its resources had been limited by the illegal Western sanctions on Zimbabwe.

    "But Government’s stance on providing for you (chiefs) has not changed," she added. The Commander of 1 Infantry Battalion, Brigadier-General Chris Mupande commended chiefs for their unwavering support for Government. He said chiefs and the defence forces should work together to improve Zimbabwe’s socio-economic environment.

    "Traditional leaders are the custodians of our culture and therefore should be respected.

    "Zimbabwe is one and we are one and we should work together for the betterment of our country," said Brig-Gen Mupande. The deputy president of the Chiefs Council, Chief Mtshane of Bubi, thanked the ZNA for its thrust to improve civil-military relations.

    "We have been used to the idea that soldiers are always holding guns. "But now we know that they are our people, and we are prepared to work with them," he said. The acting police officer commanding Matabeleland North,Assistant Commissioner Musarashahama Mabunda, said chiefs should play a central role in governance. "We should not allow outsiders and those who represent them to detract us, to tell us how to do our own things.

    "Next year when elections are held, outsiders have no part to play," he said. The Traditional Leader’s Day is the ZNA’s brainchild and presents a platform for sharing of information for national development.