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Nhlanhla Ndiweni soils the role of traditional chiefs in Zimbabwe

02 Jun 2019 at 21:35hrs | Views
The duties of a chief are enshrined in the Traditional Leaders Act chapter 29:17 which was enacted in 1998.

As Head of his or her chieftains the chief has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters, unable to vote or stand for election, however the chief does have important ceremonial and formal roles in relation to the cultural and local government in Zimbabwe.

The duties of a chief include presiding over disputes in local areas. These includes land issues cultural issues and some small crimes as directed by the law.

The Chief also has a special relationship with the President retaining the right to accept and also meeting with him or her on a regular basis through the minister or the council of chiefs.

In addition to playing a specific role in the governance and structures in day to day lives the chief has formal roles with relation to the socio and economic development of the nation.

Chieftainy is the oldest form of government in ZIMBABWEAN cultural and socio political standings.

In a chieftain a chief hold a traditional influence.

Although a Chief no longer has a political or executive role, he or she continues to play an important part in the life of the nation.

As The cultural head the chief undertakes traditional and representational duties which have developed over thousands of years of history. In addition to these State duties, The Chief has a less formal role as 'Head of Chieftaincy The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.

In all these roles The Sovereign is supported by members of their immediate family.

As a constitutional traditional leader a chief must remain politically neutral.

On almost all matters The Chief acts on the advice of the minister.

As a system of local government, the chief separates the official traditional duties from party politics and the Chief remains the same even as governments change.

The Chief has an important formal and ceremonial relationship with The government and nation The chief normally supports the elected Government of the day, and it is the government which has the dominant political power.

Zimbabwe's attention seeking Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Felix Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna jumps out of the line to create a serious discourse in the country. In an unprecedented move he has called for violence and support for sanctions.  The chief has called for a regime change. This call is not only surprising but not expected from a traditional leader who is supposed to lead by example. Chief Ndiweni represents a rebellious unreasonable leadership.

Chief Ndiweni has become unpopular for being the chief government critic, he has shown that he does not care about the nation but his eyes are fixed on anarchy and destruction. The chief has gone against his mandate and he must be sanctioned.

Zimbabwe adopted a new Constitution in 2013 (Constitution of Zimbabwe) which, among other things recognises the role of the institution of traditional leadership which operates alongside modern state structures. Although their roles and responsibilities are clearly spelt out, the Chief's conduct is becoming short of an exemplary leader.

The Chief's conduct is highly becoming a cause for concern, raising constitutional questions. His continued attack on government and his alignment with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has brought renewed criticism of Chief's relevance in a modern-day society anchored on democratic values.

Traditional leaders deliver various government responsibilities in some parts of Zimbabwe where the State has limited presence. Zimbabwe's 67 per cent of the population resides in rural (communal) areas where the institution of traditional leadership, rather than modern state structures, is the immediate form of government hence the need for them  to exhibit maturity and lead in shaping morals of the people they lead.

Chief Ndiweni has become a liability to the nation and true to this he is lobbying for more sanctions. His appearance at the MDC A congress speaks volumes of his mental capacity.

It should be remembered that on the eve of independence Chief Ndiweni did not believe in the protection of the new black government. He wanted the whites to remain and as a way of protest he left the new Zimbabwe and followed his masters to the UK. This is the

Chief who now speaks of failures by our government and begs for sanctions with a passion.

His defence of the former colonialists is made clear by refusing land distribution and advocating for his masters to remain in the land without sharing.

Chief Ndiweni represents the most confused brainwashed chief. To think that he is the custodian of the nation's culture and tradition is indeed sickening.

Chief. Ndiweni has dragged the honoured  Chieftainship system into disrepute. Zimbabwe expects responsible chiefs and not those who wish to drag the whole nation to 1980.


Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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