Traditional Chief Charumbira livid as oppostion politicize funeral, eulogy


Mr. Nelson Chamisa (Left) and Chief Fortune Charumbira (Right) at the burial of Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume’s mother, in Bondolfi, Charumbira Communal Lands. Masvingo. Image from Twitter/@nelsonchamisa

Chief Fortune Charumbira is livid after his eulogy at Mayor Jacob Mafume’s bereavement was politicized by opposition activists on social media. The traditional leader in a Tuesday statement to the press dismissed claims that he called for a government of national unity (GNU) between two tribesman President Emmerson Mnangagwa and political rival Mr. Nelson Chamisa at a funeral in Charumbira communal lands.

Chief Charumbira has dismissed a viral NewsHawk post as false and mischievous. Screenshot from Twitter/@NewsHawksLive

On Monday morning, a local controversial blog NewsHawks published what Chief Charumbira has called a “false and mischievous” article which claimed that the traditional leader implored opposition leader Mr. Nelson Chamisa to join hands with President Mnangagwa and form a Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zimbabwe. Chief Charumbira had on Sunday attended the burial of Mbuya Mafume, a relative by marriage and also mother to the opposition Mayor of the City of Harare, Jacob Mafume.

Villagers attend Mbuya Mafume’s funeral in Charumbira communal lands in Bondolfi, Masvingo

The post went further to claim undertones of tribalism in the eulogy the traditional chief delivered and reported that he was propagating the idea of a government of national unity, in order to maintain the Karaga ethnic political hegemony. The Twitter post by @NewsHawkLive was trending together with an edited video clip of Chief Charumbira’s Mbuya Mafume eulogy credited to two blogs @ZimEye and @TechMagZW, both known to be critical to the government.

Chief Charumbira who is the president of the Zimbabwean Chief’s Council and the Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament, on Tuesday dismissed Monday’s viral posts as “utter rubbish”. The Chief is livid after some keyboard activists went further to speculate that the traditional leader had used the funeral to ask Mr. Chamisa to consider foregoing the election due this June 2023.

“Of course, nothing can be further from the truth because the unity I was talking about was the unity of all Zimbabweans to pull and push in the same direction irrespective of political differences and who is in power,” said Chief Charumbira.

“I was not talking about the unity of political parties that they must join to form a Government, no! It was unity to cast aside political differences and come up with a single agenda to develop Zimbabwe in peace and harmony without necessarily collapsing different political parties. I said we must unite and contest elections in harmony and peace and this was predicated by (Mr) Chamisa who earlier on in his speech had said President Mnangagwa is his brother”, he added.

It is said that Chief Charumbira delivered his closing eulogy after Mr. Chamisa had warded into politics during his remarks. The opposition leader is also reported to have described President Mnangagwa as his brother

“I told (Mr) Chamisa that since he openly conceded on his own during his own speech before I spoke that President Mnangagwa is his brother, why then doesn’t he visit him at State House? Pay a courtesy call on him as the President and big brother and drink tea together to nourish harmony, peace, and oneness in our country. I never talked about GNU as purported,” said Chief Charumbira.

Chief Fortune Charumbira’s voice is very critical considering his position as the president of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs(since 2013). Image from Twitter

Indeed, Mayor Jacob Mafume’s bereavement had proved an opportune moment for top opposition leader and party members reportedly attended the funeral clad in party regalia to launch another political ploy within the Charumbira communal lands. On several occasions, the opposition has accused Charumbira and its Chief of being vicious to opposition politics, and the latter sympathetic to the ruling ZANU PF government regardless of his neutral role as a traditional leader.

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