Chiefs grateful for the just ended conference
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Speaking in separate interviews after the end of the conference at the Large City Hall, the chiefs described the conference as a platform for leadership development.
"We commend the conference because it gave us the opportunity to learn a lot of things. We were able to interact with our counterparts from different cultures and that helped us to share ideas and strengthen our unity as a nation," said Chief Mphini from Bulilima district.
Chief Sikhobokhobo from Nkayi district said: "We had a good meeting and we are glad that we managed to present our concerns to President Mugabe."
Chief Zimunya of Mutare district in Manicaland province said the conference made the chiefs conscious of national issues.
"We were exposed to critical issues that affect our people as a nation. The issue of unity, empowerment, land utilisation and the need to upgrade the status of chiefs, were all underscored by our leaders," said Chief Zimunya.
Chief Siphoso of Tsholotsho district also said the conference was fruitful.
"This was a fruitful conference. I was impressed by the issue of Community Share Ownership Trusts or Schemes, which was discussed at length. We did not have much information about this facility but we heard it from the horse's mouth.
"As we go back to our communities we have the correct message to give our people. We are also grateful for the issue of grain loan scheme, which Government said has been extended to the next farming season," said Chief Siphoso.
Chief Njelele from Gokwe South said the conference gave them the challenge to be proactive in developing the national economy through agriculture.
"We often talk of utilising the land. We were impressed by President Mugabe's stance about the land. He said the land must be used productively and that those who do not use it would lose it," he said.
"This is a pertinent issue to us because in my area we have such problems. We learnt about empowerment, which has been hidden to us for a long time. In future meetings we need to call ministers from health and education to address us because their portfolios affect our communities so much," said Chief Njelele.
Chief Nemangwe of Gokwe South said the conference sharpened the chiefs' leadership skills.
Chief Negande of Kariba district said the conference exposed the traditional leadership to important issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve meaningful community development.
He made reference to the CSOT/S and the land reform programme, saying the programmes would benefit all the people.
A total of 257 chiefs attended the three-day conference.
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