Chiefs complain over Chikovo ‘bedroom’affair
By Garikai Mafirakureva | Masvingo Mirror |
Traditional chiefs from Masvingo have complained against an alleged extra-marital affair between the Director of Traditional Leadership Service in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Felix Chikovo and his subordinate Rosemary Chingwe which they say is compromising the professional execution of Government duties.
The chiefs who spoke to The Mirror on condition of anonymity alleged that Chikovo has a relationship with Masvingo Provincial Director for Traditional Leadership Service Rosemary Chingwe and they actually have a child together.
They said that the relationship compromises the fair and professional execution of duties particularly the resolution of conflicts that arise among and within chieftainships.
“If you have a complaint here in Masvingo you take it to Chingwe and if it’s not resolved it goes to her husband. This arrangement seriously compromises professionalism and we as chiefs have lost confidence in the system,” said a chief whose case has been before Local Government for more than three years.
Chingwe was the District Administrator for Mwenezi when Chikovo was the Provincial Administrator for Masvingo. It is not clear whether this was the time that the alleged relationship started but when Chikovo was promoted to Harare, a few years later Chingwe was then promoted to Masvingo.
The chiefs alleged that if Chingwe says no to a case the answer will be the same from Chikovo. They also said that if Chingwe decides to sit on a case, it is difficult to get Chikovo to come in and help.
Chingwe confirmed the relationship but said it ended in 2011 and now the two don’t talk about it. She however, threatened The Mirror with unspecified action if the newspaper went ahead and publish her private life.
Chikovo vehemently denied the existence of such a relationship and said he has one wife who is in Harare. He then said that he was not allowed to speak to the Press and referred questions to Minister July Moyo or Permanent Secretary Zvinechimwe Churu.
“I don’t have any wife in Masvingo. My wife is here in Harare. I am not allowed to talk to the newspapers but I just thought it would be prudent to correct where you said I have a wife in Masvingo. You can talk to the Permanent Secretary or the Minister,” said Chikovo.
Churu laughed it off and said he was not going to check if the two were still in a relationship or not because it is unprofessional for him to do that.
“I don’t think that will affect the way they do their jobs. Whether the two have a relationship or not, I am not going to conduct any investigation against them because I am not mandated by any law to do that.
“It’s unprofessional for me to do that. They are grown up people and I am sure they know how to conduct themselves when it comes to work,” said Churu.
Moyo could not be reached for comment as his mobile was not reachable.
Human resources experts who spoke to The Mirror said under normal circumstances, Chikovo should resign if he had not openly declared this relationship. They said that there is conflict of interest that arise out of such relations considering the very senior positions that they hold in Government and such should never be allowed in a workplace.
“This is something that ended in 2011. We no longer talk regarding the relationship. We only talk when its’s professional. What does that have to do with you as a paper? I will let you write the story, but if someone messes with my private life I will definitely react, so be warned.
“I don’t report to Chikovo. I report to the Permanent Secretary, so whatever happens am professional. After all, our job is to facilitate the discussions among chiefs or royal families. We don’t meddle in their affairs.
“I am sure those traditional leaders do not know the parameters in which we operate that is why they want to bring up unfounded allegations against me,” said Chingwe.
Other chiefs insisted to The Mirror that Chingwe was not just a girlfriend to Chikovo but is a second wife. Masvingo Mirror