By Clayton Shereni

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), leader, Nelson Chamisa yesterday (July 7) told traditional leaders that they must not be used by the ruling party Zanu PF, to consolidate their stay in power.

Addressing party supporters gathered at the Maungwa shopping Centre in Gutu south, Chamisa, vehemently reprimanded traditional leaders against being used by Zanu PF during election periods.

“Chiefs and village heads must not be used as collaborators of any party. Traditional leaders must be non-partisan. Chiefs must be respectable. Chiefs must not be used by a dead party,” said Chamisa.

His sentiments come at a time when the president of the Chief’s Council Fortune Charumbira is on record declaring support to the ruling Zanu PF ahead of the August 23 elections.

Chief Charumbira openly rallied traditional leaders to support Zanu PF during the installation of Chief Gezani in Chiredzi a fortnight ago. Violence also rocked the rally as suspected Zanu PF youth allegedly assaulted and abducted some CCC youths before dumping them a distance away from the venue.

Chamisa also decried the continuous disruption of his party’s rallies nationwide by Zanu PF and state security agents.

He said this in relation to an incident that had happened earlier where MP for Gutu South, Pupurai Togarepi who is seeking re-election allegedly sent youths to disrupt the rally.

“Our friends from Zanu PF don’t understand that we want peace in this country. We don’t go to their rallies so they mustn’t come at ours. I will look for Togarepi, he is my nephew. I want to ask him why he wants to stop a river with a hand. They have been blocking our rallies and that shows that they are afraid of us,” said Chamisa.

Some of the disrupted rallies include his Zaka and Bikita cluster rallies. In Bikita, Zanu PF aspiring legislator for Bikita South and former Deputy Information Minister, Energy Mutodi, allegedly fired shots to disrupt a CCC rally.

Political violence in the province has continued to escalate despite several calls for peaceful elections by the ruling party leader, Emerson Mnangagwa.

But some political analysts say the peace calls were not genuine as perpetrators of the political violence from Mnangagwa’s party have not been arrested, including Mutodi.