Zim authorities rescind dismissal of traditional leaders sacked for resisting partisan manipulation during elections

ZIMBABWEAN authorities have reinstated six traditional leaders to their positions as village heads after rescinding their illegal and unceremonious dismissal which took place seven years ago.

The six village heads namely Member Mutinha, Patrick Manjonjo, Aleck
Munava, Morgan Gora, Nobo Mahobho and Taurai Machipisa of Ward 17 in
Hurungwe District in Mashonaland West province were unfairly dismissed
by Chief Nyamhunga (born Boniface Chinehasha) between April and May

They were also stripped of their entitlements and replaced by six
village heads namely Emmanuel Mutinha, Clever Hwenda, Insuarance
Kapamara, Simbarashe Kaponda, Dzumbunu Paratema and Pasipanodya

The dismissal took place during the run-up to the Hurungwe West
constituency parliamentary by-election held on 10 June 2015, which was
contested by the late Keith Guzah representing ZANU PF party and Temba
Mliswa, who stood as an independent candidate after he had been
expelled as the ruling party’s provincial chairperson for Mashonaland
West province.

Although the village heads made several efforts to seek clarity
regarding their dismissal, they were later advised by the Hurungwe
West District Administrator (now District Development Co-ordinator
(DDC) that their positions had been filled and their cases sealed
adding that the benefits and stipends they used to receive had also
been withdrawn.

After their dismissal, Mutinha, Munava, Gora, Mahobho, Machipisa and
Manjonjo engaged Webster Jiti of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,
who filed an application at the High Court, challenging the decision
to dismiss them without preferring any charges against them nor
convening any disciplinary hearing for them.

In the application, the village heads argued that they had complied
with the provisions of Section 281 of the Constitution which provides
that traditional leaders should not “act in a partisan manner or
further the interest of a political party or cause”.

Now Mutinha, Munava, Gora, Mahobho, Machipisa and Manjonjo are heaving
a sigh of relief as they were recently reinstated to their positions
by Zvinechimwe Churu, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local
Government and Public Works, who stated that they had been unfairly
dismissed and withdrew the appointment of the six people who had
assumed their roles and duties.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works represented by one
E. Chitombo advised the District Development Coordinator for Hurungwe
District that Churu had reinstated the six village heads as from 17
August 2021 in terms of the provisions of the Traditional Leadership

Chitombo ordered the District Development Coordinator to process
payment of the village heads’ monthly allowances.

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