CHIRUMANZI – War veterans and members of the Chirumanzu clan are up in arms following an announcement that Gerald Mudzengi who is Chief Chirumanzu and believed to be a strong ally of President Mnangagwa has been cleared of a litany of charges by a Government appointed Commission.
Chief Chirumanzu who is known to be an ally of Mnangagwa in his former Chirumanzu-Zibagwe Constituency faces numerous court cases and uninvestigated reports before the Police reports to do with alleged corruption, stock theft, contempt of court, abuse of office and superintending over resettlement areas without emplacement.
Villagers, headmen, war veterans and human rights organisations have over the years tried to have Chief Chirumanzu arrested or brought to court without success.
Chirumanzu District Administrator Tapson Chivhanga announced at a Mvuma meeting attended by more than 50 traditional leaders on Friday last week that Chief Chirumanzu had been cleared by a Government appointed Commission of all allegations that were being raised against him and was therefore free to do his duties without let or hindrance.
The announcement miffed the traditional leaders with Headman Chaka who is the chairman of the Chirumhanzu dynasty trashing it as false and rubbish.
“How can the DA announce the results of a Commission of Enquiry against a Chief at a National Aids Council meeting? What has delegates at an HIV meeting to do with investigations of corruption against a chief? It is not true that Mudzengi has been cleared,” said Headman Chaka.
He said that there were two commissions set up; one under former President Mugabe and the other under Mnangagwa to investigate Chief Chirumanzu and he was therefore not sure which result the DA announced. He said a proper report on the findings must be tabled at a meeting of headmen and village heads who are the complainants in the cases.
“Chief Chirumhanzu has not been arrested on many cases reported to the Police and many people believe that this is because he is close to the President. However, we know that President Mnangagwa is on a mission against corruption and we don’t think he will tolerate this.
“Fighting corruption is one of President Mnangagwa’s priorities. If any of the two commissions clears Chief Chirumanzu, we are going to report the cases to the Anti-Corruption Commission. As the Chirumanzu clan we are not going to rest until justice is done. There will be a storm,” said Headman Chaka.
He said that representatives of the clan went to Harare recently where they met directors from the Ministry of Local Government with a view to have Mudzengi stripped of his chieftainship. He said that they have since been directed to see the Provincial Chiefs Council chairman for Midlands Province Chief Ngungubani and representatives of the clan are going to Bulawayo on Friday to see him.
A war veteran who declined to be named for fear of victimisation said many people have lost hope of seeing Mudzengi arrested or tried in a court of law after the ascendancy of President Mnangagwa to power. He said Police were afraid of Mudzengi when Mnangagwa was still Vice President and the situation is worse now that he is President.
“Personally I think Mudzengi is now untouchable. Police and the courts are afraid of him. There is no hope that he will ever be tried in a court of law. Totongomiriravo nguva yaMwari,” said the war veteran of Mudzengi who is among the first 56 chiefs to receive state of the art Isuzu twin cabs under a scheme recently launched by Mnangagwa.
“I received a letter from the office of the Ministry (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing) notifying me that there was no evidence to incriminate Chief Chirumanzi. Therefore, he is still a substantive chief who ought to be respected by all of you,” he said.
“I have been waiting for this day for too long. My innocence has been proved and my legacy as a chief has been restored. Hapana mushonga unobata pasina chironda,” said Chief Chirumanzi. – Masvingo Mirror