The affected headmen are from the villages of Kabuba, Musazi, Muchuuza, Gwangwa River and Nakaluba, under Chief Pashu in Binga, Matebeleland South.
One of the villagers said trouble started two weeks ago when the five were accused of failing to attend ward assembly meetings, where development issues are discussed.
But rather than reprimand all the headmen who had not attended, the chief then used this as an excuse to target the five because of their alleged links with the MDC-T.
An affected traditional leader told SW Radio Africa’s Matebeleland region correspondent Lionel Saungweme, that other headmen who had failed to attend but whose loyalty to ZANU PF was known, had retained their positions.
Saungweme said ZANU PF official Amos Munsaka announced the dismissals, a move described by some villagers as a violation of tradition.
“The headmanship is passed from father to son, and for the chief to dismiss anyone on political grounds is unacceptable. Chiefs and headmen are part of the traditional leadership system and should be apolitical.
“But in Binga during these so-called village assembly meetings villagers are forced to chant ZANU PF slogans, which some headmen have queried,” Saungweme reported.
Saungweme said there is fear among villagers that this is part of a campaign to punish, and therefore muzzle, any support for opposition political parties in Binga.
In yet another Binga area led by Chief Saba, headmen from the wards of Saba, Pashu, Dobola, have also been forced to step down, accused of supporting the MDC-T.
Elsewhere in the country, similar incidents have been reported in Masvingo, where Chief Matubede Mugabe suspended headman Rangarirai Magunzwa, of Magunzwa Village, for allegedly supporting the MDC-T.
In Mudzi North, Chief Mkota Manhando fired headman Claudious Nyamudandara of Nyamudandara Village and replaced him with ZANU PF youth Pascal Chimbweza, while Naison Kurima, of Kurima Village, was replaced by ZANU PF youth Blessing Nyandoro and Tiki Munyonga, of Mutinha Village, was also replaced by another ZANU PF youth. – SW Radio AfricaPost published in: News