Mat North chiefs elect new leadership

Chiefs Mtshane Khumalo, Siabuwa and Sikhobokhobo of Matabeleland North retained their positions in the National Council of Chiefs when traditional leaders from the province convened on Thursday in Ntabazinduna to elect their new representatives.

Chief Mtshane is from Bubi, Chief Siabuwa is from Binga and Chief Sikhobokhobo is from Nkayi.

These three were joined by Chief Charles Nekatambe from Dete and Chief Siansali from Binga who were unanimously endorsed by other traditional leaders to represent the province.

Previously, the province was represented by four traditional leaders: Mtshane Khumalo, Siabuwa, Sikhobokhobo and Shana.

This year, 36 chiefs will be elected to the national chief’s council. 

Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South will each have four representatives while Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Manicaland and Midlands will all have five representatives.

Although the chiefs were supposed to carry out a secret vote, no ballots were cast during the exercise as the traditional leaders agreed unanimously who must be chosen to represent the process, an indication that perhaps they had previously caucused as a province.

The chiefs also requested for 15 minutes only rather than the three hours they were allocated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which was presiding over the process to solicit votes among the other colleagues.

The election was graced by observers from the European Union and Zimbabwe Gender Commission.

ZEC presiding Officer, Buligwamanu Bwawo Pinos said the 36 members of the chief’s council who were elected today in all provinces will then meet to elect the President and the deputy president of the national council on 10 August 2023.

“On 24 August 2023, after the election, we will all meet here with the substantive chiefs again to elect two senator chiefs who will represent Matabeleland North in the Senate,” said Pinos

ZEC Provincial Elections Officer, Richard Sibanda said it is unusual to see the chiefs united in such a way.

“It’s not usual to see chiefs united in the way we see today, this unity should be also there in villages where there are campaigns, thus where there is usually violence. As chiefs, I don’t think anyone can campaign in your areas without listening to you, if you hear political violence, get closer and put discipline, I hope we will have the peace we saw here today in this election,” he said.

“This is just an election but you came here with a strategy already and presented it to us, we will also handle it the way you represented it to us,” said Sibanda.

In addition, the Vice Chairperson of Zimbabwe Gender Commission, Obert Matshalaga said the whole process went very well and peacefully as it was a unanimous nomination and all agreeing in terms of the standard legal processes.

“The whole process was very peaceful, my hope is that what has happened here will happen throughout the country so that we have a peaceful 2023 harmonized election, we look forward to further processes on the 10th and to the 24th,” said Matshalaga.

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