Gokwe – Chief Misheck Njelele has been accused by members of the MDC-T of meddling in politics and campaigning for Zanu PF ahead of the watershed July 31 harmonised elections at a time traditional leaders are supposed to be non-partisan.
REPORT BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Newani Nyamazani, the MDC-T council candidate for Gokwe Rural District Council, accused the chief of threatening his subjects to vote for Zanu PF. “He is going around the villages threatening people to vote for Zanu PF or face war and hunger in the event that the MDC-T wins,” he said. “This is intimidation at its worst and it is very worrying.” Nyamazani, who faces his father Abraham of Zanu PF in the battle to for a second term as ward 15 Njelele 2 councillor, said the statements by Chief Njelele had affected his campaign because people were now afraid.
Robert Gomba of ward 15 confirmed that the chief was on a crusade campaigning on behalf of President Robert Mugabe, saying he was even addressing Zanu PF rallies. “He told us in Bomba that his area had no room for MDC supporters and those who wanted to support the sellouts who want to return the country to the whites, should do so outside his chiefdom,” he said.
The chief became abusive when he was contacted for comment saying: “Are you mad, who told you that?” He then ended the call. Chief Njelele played a pivotal role in negotiating the deal between Zanu PF’s Midlands chairman Jason Machaya and Tevengwa Chokuda, father to the slain MDC-T activist Moses Chokuda. The chief was the Zanu PF emissary in the long standing dispute, which saw Moses buried two years of his death.