TWO traditional leaders from Mashonaland West Province have claimed that they were booed and chased away from an event where First Lady Grace Mugabe officiated in Kadoma on Wednesday.
Chiefs Ngezi and Nherera, both from Mhondoro, told NewsDay that some top Zanu PF and government officials ordered them to leave, saying they were not invited to the meeting.
“I am not really happy with the way I was treated at this ceremony by some people who said they were from the offices of the District Administrator and Provincial Administrator,” Chief Ngezi, born Peter Pasipamire, said.
“We were told that we were not welcome here. They were saying this is not our area yet they know there is a boundary dispute that is still to be resolved. Even if they say we are not from the area, why would they go to the extent of chasing us away at a public function presided over by the mother of the nation? We were told only chiefs from Sanyati are welcome.”
Chief Mutizwa Nherera weighed in saying they were going to make a formal complaint to Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
“We are going to write to Minister Chombo complaining about this conduct. Why would people try to talk about the disputed administrative boundaries at such a function?” he queried.
“According to what we have gathered, this is not-politically motivated, but just overzealous officials who wanted to publicly humiliate us. Imagine doing this to us in front of the First Lady and Vice-Presidents (Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko),” Chief Nherera further expressed dismay.
The chiefs said after persistent protest over their treatment they were given a blanket each, while others were given food hampers and were promised to have their homes electrified.
However, Mashonaland West acting provincial administrator Kenneth Shumba disputed the chiefs’ claims.
“That is not true. No one was chased away. What happened is that there were donated items and these chiefs were not on the list of those who were going to benefit,” Shumba said.
“I think that is where the issue is coming from. They will be given their allocation later, but it is not true that they were ordered to leave.”