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We are also suffering: Chiefs`wives

The wives of traditional leaders say they are not spared from the economic challenges affecting the country as the allowances they are receiving from the government are not enough to cover their basic needs.

They revealed this on the sidelines of a meeting with First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa in Bulawayo on Thursday.

The wife to Chief Sikhobokhobo of Nkayi, Ntombizodwa, said their income is not enough to cater for their family needs.

“The income we get is very little, we have families and school children who are supposed to be going to school but the money is very little,” she lamented.

“Our allowances are very little we are failing to send our children to school, as I am speaking some children are not going to school because as chiefs we are failing to send them to school. Usually, children are not allowed entrance to the school when we have not paid their school fees, sometimes the situation is very hard for us as we wont be having means to send them to school.”

Chief Sikhokhokhobo`s wife added that they want a separate fund so that they are able to take care of certain projects in their areas.

“Even when it comes to donor aid in the area, as chiefs’ wives we are often sidelined, the chief is not given anything, you just hear them saying your community should recommend your name,” she said.

“We also want donor aid specifically directed for us chiefs,  we receive visitors as chiefs’ wives and  I have to ensure that they eat but at times you find that  I will be drowning in my own poverty hence they have to sleep hungry,” she said.

Chief Siphoso`s wife said they were not immune to the challenges faced by the country.  

“We have people in communities looking up to us, even children who want to be assisted but we are also suffering, donors are not taking care of us as the Chiefs’ wives, they think we have money but we do not have it,” she said.

“We try as women to sell this and that but when we do that we have to abandon our household duties so that our children can go to school,” she said.

The government provides cars, houses and monthly allowances to traditional leaders.

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