Harare-based lawyer, Webster Jiti has secured the reinstatement of six traditional leaders who had been dismissed “for resisting partisan manipulation.” The traditional leaders approached Jiti of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and presented that they had upheld the constitution by not being partisan. In a statement, seen by Pindula News, ZLHR said the Ministry of Local Government has since reinstated them. Reads the statement:
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 2015.
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 Manjonjo.
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had been filled and their cases sealed adding that the benefits and stipends they used to receive had also been withdrawn.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 Act.
Chitombo ordered the District Development Coordinator to process payment of the village heads’ monthly allowances.