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expels 15 village heads over MDC-T links
Sibanda, Radio VOP
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on the Radio VOP website
A Binga traditional
leader, Chief Sinamagonde has fired 15 village heads in his area,
accusing them of sympathising and campaigning for the Morgan Tsvangirai-led
MDC-T party during the
July 31 harmonised elections.
Munkombwe of Lusulu area in Ward 17 which falls under Chief Sinamagonde
told Radio VOP on Tuesday that the 15 village heads were summoned
to a meeting at the traditional chiefs’ residence at the weekend
where they were informed that they were no-longer village heads,
accusing them of actively campaigning for the MDC-T party during
the elections in which President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party
won resoundingly, according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
called for a meeting with all village heads at his homestead in
Chuuzya village at the weekend. He then told them he was not happy
that some of them had become MDC-T activists and had campaigned
for the party during 31 July elections. He immediately fired 15
village heads and replaced them with villagers aligned to him and
are known Zanu-PF activists,” said Councillor Munkombwe who
belongs to the MDC-T party.
There are over
60 village heads under Chief Sinamagonde area.
surprised by the decision by Chief Sinamagonde to fire these village
heads. He has even promised to fire more saying that he cannot work
with people with MDC links,” said Councillor Munkombwe added.
Some of the
15 fired village heads include Dickson Mapule, James Simoloka, Timothy
Siabuse and Moses Siambula. Mapule told Radio VOP that they were
shocked by the decision to fire them saying the chief is the one
who has turned into a Zanu-PF activist.
shocked by Chief Sinamagonde’s move. In fact he is the one
who is a politician and not us. He is accusing us of being MDC-T
activists, which is a lie. He just wanted his right-hand men who
are mostly Zanu-PF activists to head villages but we are not going
to allow that to happen. We will continue with our duties. You don’t
get appointed as a village head but you inherit,” said Mapule.
Binga has been
a stronghold for opposition political parties since independence.
The district was a Zapu stronghold since 1980. Zanu-PF only managed
to run Binga after “swallowing” Zapu under a “unity”
agreement forged in 1987. From 2000, following the formation of
the MDC, people in the area reverted to their anti-Zanu-PF stance.
The district has two parliamentary constituencies of Binga South
and North which are currently under MDC-T legislators. During the
31 July Zanu-PF managed to grab two council wards in the district.
Zanu-PF’s Saina Muntanga and Antony Sibanda won in Ward One
and Ward 21 respectively.
Binga is one
of the poorest and under developed districts in the country and
is currently facing serious hunger. Most parts of Binga have no
schools, clinics, dams, roads and bridges while some children travel
up to 10 km on foot to reach the nearest school. The few available
schools are dilapidated.
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