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Chiefs at Tsholotsho indaba threatened

Loughty Dube

THE government has threatened to take action against chiefs that took part in the clandestine “Tsholotsho Declaration” meeting that has seen six Zanu PF provincial chairmen suspended

and a government minister facing disciplinary action.


Four chiefs out of five attended the prize-giving ceremony at Dinyane Secondary School where Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa officiated.

The traditional leaders who attended the prize-giving ceremony are chiefs Tategulu, Gampu, Magama and Mathuphula.


Tsholotsho has five chiefs but the replacement for Chief Dlodlo who passed away earlier this year has not yet been made.


The prize-giving ceremony was also attended by several government ministers and provincial chairmen of Zanu PF who have since been suspended from the party for attending a meeting that was not sanctioned by the party’s commissariat. The chiefs in Tsholotsho never miss out on any function that is organised by Information minister Jonathan Moyo and have in the past been used to mobilise people for Zanu PF rallies.


Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo this week said the party was awaiting a report from the Matabeleland North governor Obert Mpofu that would clarify whether the chiefs in Tsholotsho participated in the “illegal proceedings” at the meeting.


“We are waiting to be advised by the governor of the area on whether the chiefs were part of any clandestine meeting and if it is established that they were involved in any of the shady dealings, then appropriate action is going to be taken against them,” said Chombo.


Efforts to contact Mpofu proved fruitless as he was attending the Zanu PF congress in Harare.


Chombo further said his ministry wants to establish in what capacity the chiefs attended the meeting.


“There is need to find out in what capacity the chiefs attended the meeting.

Did they go there as locals or they went for a different agenda? If they went for a different agenda then appropriate action will be taken against them,” Chombo said.


Pressed to comment on whether his ministry was not doing independent investigations into the matter, Chombo said the governor in any area was the one responsible for local governance issues and would advise the ministry.


“We will have to await communication from Mpofu since he is the person who deals with local governance issues in the province but so far he has not given us any information,” said Chombo.


The Tsholotsho meeting has caused a lot of furore in ruling party circles with all those involved in the so-called “Tsholotsho Declaration” absolving themselves of any wrongdoing.


President Mugabe has threatened stern action against those that organised the meeting that saw some officials being flown to the constituency in a hired plane.

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