…Mpakwa bans political slogans at funerals
… 17 Village heads dump Zanu PF
19 Jan 2017 - At least five chiefs and several traditional leaders from Bikita district are in hot soup over their reluctance to campaign for Beauty Chabaya who is Zanu PF's candidate in the Bikita West by-election slated for this Saturday.
After realising that their candidate was not very popular with traditional chiefs, the Zanu PF leadership forced traditional leaders into a secret meeting at Chaka Lodge where they were allegedly forced to declare allegiance to the ruling party.
The meeting which lasted for more than four hours last Saturday was also attended by a senior army official (name supplied), senior Intelligence officers (CIOs), Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and the ruling party candidate Beauty Chabaya.
TellZim News was informed that Zanu PF called for a secret meeting with chiefs following an incident which left the ruling party humiliated at the funeral of headman Mpakwa's mother when the traditional leader banned Zanu PF slogans at funerals in his area.
Zanu PF Central Committee member Murire had pleaded for an opportunity to address mourners and when he stood up, he started to chant Zanu PF slogans - a move which irritated both mourners and the headman.
There was drama when the headman immediately stood up and openly told mourners that he was not happy to see people taking advantage of the funeral to chant their party slogans.
More so, the Master of Ceremonies (MC) at the same funeral where Zanu PF slogans were banned addressed Zim PF candidate Kudakwashe Gopo as 'honourable' - a title which he did not give to Zanu PF's Chabaya when he was thanking people who helped the family in cash and kind.
Gopo donated the coffin and also helped with the fuel for the logistics at the funeral while Chabaya donated some maize-meal and rice.
"Zanu PF was irritated by what happened at Mpakwa funeral… and also generally Bikita chiefs are regarded as very stubborn. This is not their first time to turn against Zanu PF; in 2013 they supported (Munyaradzi) Kereke through and through despite the fact that Elias Musakwa was the the official party candidate. At a star rally held at Mucheke's Arena B open space in 2013, President Robert Mugabe announced that Zanu PF candidate in Bikita West was Musakwa and he threatened the same chiefs but they remained adamant. We are not sure whether Kasukuwere managed to convince these chiefs to support our party," said a Zanu PF insider.
At the end of the meeting at Chaka Lodge, Chiefs Marozva, Mukanganwi, Budzi and Headman Mpakwa were seen loading Zanu PF t-shirts in their vehicles.
Meanwhile, 17 village heads out of 21 in ward 10 are also under fire for allegedly siding with Zim PF.
After ward 10 councillor Sign Mukanganwi's dismissal from the Zanu PF last week for supporting Zim PF, the 17 village heads decided not to attend the ruling party's meetings thereby drawing anger from party provincial leadership.
Acting provincial chairman Amasa Nenjana promised unspecified action against the village heads.news