MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa promised Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Khayisa Ndiweni a ministerial position if he supports him in2023 elections in his bid to be the next president.
During the burial of ZAPU leader, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa in Ntabazinduna last month, Chamisa held a private meeting with Chief Ndiweni and self-proclaimed Chief Mzilikazi (Bulelani Collins Lobengula Khumalo). In that meeting, Chamisa begged for support from the two chiefs in 2023 elections.
Chamisa promised the two that he would reserve a ministerial position to one of them and a National Assembly seat to the other in the event that they rally behind him.
The MDC leader also advised the Chiefs to use the issue of Gukurahundias a rallying point and to engage other traditional leaders in the region not to support ZANU PF. Chamisa pledged that when gets into power, he will recognise Khumalo as Ndebele King, which is in contrast with the High Court interdict that there is no law in the Constitution that recognises a king or queen.
Chamisa’s promise to recognise Khumalo as Ndebele King resonates with his statement during his presidential campaign in 2018 that he will upgrade all Chiefs to Kings.
Chamisa said, “Our colonisers reduced our traditional leaders from kings to chiefs because they wanted to belittle the traditional leaders’ institution, but we want to revise that once you elect me into office in August. This is what they do in Ghana and other African countries.”
The opposition leader begged Chief Ndiweni to facilitate dialogue between him and the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP)leader, Mqondisi Moyo. He also promised to reserve a ministerial seat for MRP.
MRP is a secessionist party that does not support any Shona political leader. The MRP has never supported MDC, despite latter’s efforts to lure it.
Political analyst, Christopher Chemagora said the fact that Chamisa was now seeking support for 2023, he is aware that he lost in 2018.
“I believe Nelson Chamisais aware that he lost the 2018 presidential elections and all the noises that he is making are not sincere. He is already focusing on 2023 despite his public calls for early elections,” he said.
According to Section 280 (2) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Chiefs are not supposed to be political. However, Chief Ndiweni openly indicated that he supports Chamisa as he attended this year’sMDC congress in Gweru, showing his support for that opposition party.