By Zimsentinel Reporter
Traditional leaders in Mutoko North threw their weight behind ZANU PF candidate in the recently conducted by-election through partisan food distribution with some village heads being the election agents, it has emerged.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) in its preliminary report on Mutoko North by-election pointed out the partisan involvement of traditional leaders in campaigns and in food aid distribution in Mutoko North Constituency. The participation of the traditional leaders continued with some of the village heads (sabhuku) reported to have been election party agents for ZANU PF.
The election saw Nyabote Rambidzai of ZANU PF winning with a huge margin of 11,141 votes against 1,329 votes for Mushore Boniface of MDC and 94 votes for Mugoma Edson of NCA.
The participation of traditional leaders in partisan politics is in contravention of the Traditional Leaders Act and Section 281 of the Constitution which clearly states that, “Traditional leaders must not be members of any political party or further the interest of any political party”. Partisan participation in politics compromises the constitutional duties of traditional leaders including resolving disputes amongst people in their communities.
The Mutoko North House of Assembly seat fell vacant when Mabel Chinomona was elected President of the Senate.