TRADITIONAL leaders attending an environmental indaba in Gweru surprised stakeholders when they demanded exceptional treatment in terms of allowances and hotel bookings.
Chief Ntabeni of Zhombe, who gave a vote of thanks at the one-day provincial Environmental Management Agency (EMA) veld fire indaba on Tuesday, grabbed the opportunity to outline the chiefs’ demands.
He said those who invited chiefs to meetings should reward them handsomely and at the same time book them as respected people.
“I speak on behalf of other chiefs here present. How can you (EMA) make double bookings for us as if we are in hostels? This is not proper and in future you should not do that,” Chief Ntabeni charged.
“Even when you give us allowances, do so in a manner that when we go back to our families they can say yes, the chief was away on duty,” he said, drawing whispers and giggles from guests.
Other chiefs who attended the seminar included Ndanga and Chirumanzu.
The traditional leaders get State benefits such as cars, and their homesteads in rural areas are electrified.
After Chief Ntabeni’s remarks, an EMA official announced that he wanted to have “a small talk with chiefs” where they were given fuel coupons while other participants from Kwekwe, Chirumanzu and Shurugwi left empty handed.