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Covid-19 stalls delimitation of chiefs’ boundaries

Covid-19 pandemic is stalling the delimitation of chiefs’ boundaries, a development that has seen a number of village heads remaining unregistered, Local Government Deputy Minister, Marian Chombo, told Parliament Wednesday.

Boundaries for chiefs have been a contentious issue in Zimbabwe especially in cases where a chief’s area of jurisdiction goes beyond one district or province.

Speaking during a question and answer session in the august House yesterday, Chombo said her Ministry can only be able to register more village heads once boundaries have been done.

“Right now we have a programme which has been hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic whereby we are going to do the delimitation and the boundaries so that each chief knows where his boundary starts and ends,” said Chombo.

“The finances we have been given, but because we cannot conduct those exercises during this Covid era; we have been delayed, but it is being addressed.”

She said there are about 27, 000 village heads that are registered with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works. 

“Most of the village heads that are not being paid are not officially installed or sworn,” said Chombo.

“All those village heads that are official are getting their allowances every month.  I think there is also the problem of boundaries.  Some of the chiefs appoint village heads in anticipation of the upcoming delimitation of boundaries.  Once they are formally installed, the village heads are paid every month on time.”

She further explained the issue of chiefs’ boundaries: “The process is once you install a chief, he installs the headman and the headman is given a boundary, and according to the number of houses, the headman appoints the village heads. If there are no boundaries yet set, there is no way we can recognise those village heads. It means they have not been officially appointed for them to be registered with the Ministry.”

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