The headman, who is now staying with his son in Bulawayo, fled the area on Sunday following numerous threats from ZANU PF supporters.
“I went to collect my father from the rural areas over the heroes holidays because his life was in danger. Since the time he started presiding over cases
of politically motivated violence at his traditional court last month, things have not been good," the headman’s son Enock, told Radio VOP.
The son said on numerous occasions he had advised his father not to preside over cases related to political violence at his court, but said the father was defiant.
“… he would argue that it is his right and responsibility as a traditional leader to do so".
He had summoned to his court all ZANU PF supporters in the area who looted perceived opposition supporter’s properties and livestock and some of the looted items had already been returned to their owners.” said the son.
One of the high profile cases of political violence which the headman presided over involved a war veteran who took three goats and two buckets of maize from Pedzisai Chitiyo.
Chitiyo was accused of supporting the MDC.The headman ordered the war veteran, Maurice Mazungunye to return the goats and maize to Chitiyo. After the incident, Mazukunye reported the incident to ZANU PF officials in Chipinge who instructed the headman to stop with immediate effect to preside over cases involving politics and threatened him with unspecified action.
“I am trying to get in touch with the president of the Chiefs Council, Fortune Charumbira so that this issue can be solved. My father wants to go back home and continue with his traditional duties, but right now he cannot do so.”
On 15 February 2007,Editor of NeHanda radio,Fortune Tazvida reported that ,The president of the Chiefs council, Chief Fortune Charumbira is apparently of Zambian origin and traditionally should not be holding the title of chief in this country. Charumbira hit the headlines last week after calling on chiefs in Chiredzi and the whole country to support Zanu PF in its election campaigns. A parliamentary by-election is due in Chiredzi South following the death of Zanu PF’s Aaron Baloyi.
A source told Nehanda Radio that Charumbira is nicknamed ‘Keegan Mumba’ in his hometown of Masvingo, which is the name of former Dynamos’ Zambian coach, Keegan Mumba. ‘This guy is detested in his own hometown and for him to come out saying opposition supporters should not receive food because of their political affiliation only made his reputation sink further. How can a foreign national be urging the indirect genocide of a significant part of the Zimbabwean population,’ our source said. People in the Charumbira area, where he is chief, say they do not recognise his chieftainship, let alone his presidency of the Chiefs council.
Born on the 10th of June 1962, Chief Charumbira holds a BSc Honours in Politics-Administration, an Institute of Personnel Management Diploma and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He is said to lead a very wild lifestyle for a Chief and frequents several bottlestores in Masvingo whilst in the company of ladies of the night. At last years Zanu PF conference Charumbira urged Zanu PF to extend Mugabe’s term for life. He told the conference Mugabe should only be succeeded upon his death the same way chiefs are treated. "We are not for succession as long as one who holds that position is still alive," he said. Nehanda Radio called Charumbira on his mobile and put the allegations to him and all he did was hang up the phone.
If you want to express your displeasure with Chief Charumbira for declaring that opposition supporters should not recive food aid, contact him on the following numbers and address.
63 Hofmeyer Street