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Charumbira Retains Post of Chiefs Council President

Chiefs voting Friday in Zimbabwe
Chief Fortune Charumbira of Masvingo province was Friday retained as president of the Chief’s Council in elections conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in Harare.

Chief Lukas Mtshane Khumalo of Matabeleland North will deputise him.

Chief Charumbira was declared duly elected after he got 34 nominations out of the 35 members of the Electoral College with Chief Zvimba of Mashonaland West getting a single nomination.

Presiding officer Japhet Murenje, who is ZEC’s director of elections, declared chief Charumbira the winner as the law stipulates that candidates must be nominated by two or more people for an election to take place.

For the post of deputy president of the Chief’s Council, there were two nominations namely, Chief Khumalo, nominated by 33 chiefs and Chief Musarurwa of Mashonaland East, who got two nominations.

Again elections could not proceed and Chief Khumalo was declared duly elected after Musarurwa declined the nomination. He said he was not interested in the post.

Charumbira and Khumalo will seat in the Senate of the eighth parliament of Zimbabwe following their election.

Chiefs provincial representatives of will be elected at a later date.

Speaking after his election, Chief Charumbira commended his colleagues for showing confidence in his leadership and the electoral commission for running a smooth election.

He said while people’s spirits had been dampened by the chaotic special vote last weekend, the way ZEC handled Friday’s election shows that it has the capacity to conduct the July 31 harmonised elections.

Chief Charumbira castigated politicians for vote buying saying they must learn from chiefs whose elections were conducted without incidences of vote buying.

Charumbira also castigated homosexuality urging chiefs to preserve Zimbabwean culture and work hard for the development of their people.

ZEC commissioner, Betty Makoni, who supervised the Friday exercise appealed to chiefs to ensure that there is peace in the country before, during and after the July 31 harmonised elections.

Meanwhile, ZEC on Friday afternoon started auditing the special vote which ended early Tuesday with the verification of election material from Bulawayo province.

The exercise, which is being done in the presence of political parties and their agents at the special vote command centre at the Harare International Conference Centre, is expected to run until late into the night or Saturday.

The special or early vote was marred by serious logistical problems resulting in some eligible voters failing to cast their ballots.