By Zvamaida Murwira
Sitting president of traditional leaders, Chief Charumbira and his deputy Chief Mtshane, were yesterday retained unopposed as leaders of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs, positions that automatically make them Senators.
The election was conducted by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 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.
ZEC presiding officer, Mr James Chidamba, declared the two duly elected after there were no other nominations for the posts.
“I, James Chidamba, being the presiding officer of the election of president of national Chiefs Council do hereby declare that at the close of nomination only one chief was duly nominated,” he said. “As such, I, therefore, declare the said chief to be duly elected as President of the National Chiefs Council.”
At least 36 chiefs from eight provinces constituted the Electoral College.
In his acceptance speech, Chief Charumbira implored political parties to emulate traditional leaders for conducting their elections in a peaceful and organised way.
“Political parties should take a leaf from us,” he said. “The elections were just like the weather, very cool.
“We promise we will remain the usual listeners. In the next five years we will have to refocus from a rudimentary needs to an output oriented leadership consistent with the thrust of the new dispensation. We now have consistent pay day, vehicles, we now look at other responsibilities like environmental and land management.”
Chief Charumbira commended the way the electoral process was conducted, saying it showed maturity.
“We are peacemakers, we do not seek to outdo each other,” he said. “It is a sign of consensus within the institution. Elections should not lead to division or injuries. We will now focus on the forthcoming elections to ensure they are held in a peaceful environment.”
Chief Mtshane thanked his colleagues for showing confidence in his leadership and pledged to continue with projects they had initiated for traditional leaders.
The elections for the Chiefs Council followed a proclamation by President Mnangagwa for the polls.
Provincial assembly of Chiefs met on July 11 at various centres across eight provinces excluding Harare and Bulawayo, to elect members of the Council of Chiefs. The president and his deputy would become ex-officio Senators.
On August 1, the eight provincial assemblies of chiefs will convene again to elect two chiefs to representing each province in the Senate. The Herald