The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Government should change traditional chiefs’ regalia with immediate effect as it does not reflect the country’s cultural values and practices but is a symbol of colonialism, Vice-President General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd) has said.
General Chiwenga (Rtd) made the remarks while introducing President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the Chiefs Indaba held at the Zanu-PF Convention Centre in Gweru yesterday.
The Vice-President said the Government should not take longer than a month to change the chiefs’ paraphernalia and replace it with traditional regalia which reflected African culture.
“Your Excellency, my grandfather was a chief and during colonialism he was victimised for refusing to don this red gown and that hard hat which the chiefs use as their regalia.
“It was introduced by our former colonial masters and does not reflect our culture. We have our own traditional regalia which we wear during ritual ceremonies.
“Your Excellency, my suggestion is that we change this regalia with immediate effect. I don’t think it should take us a month to do that,” he said.
General Chiwenga (Rtd) said President Mnangagwa was an astute leader with unquestionable liberation war credentials.
He said the President had shown his commitment and dedication to serve the country from the time of the liberation struggle to post-independence Zimbabwe where he served the nation diligently in different portfolios.
Chronicling part of the President’s history General Chiwenga (Rtd) said, “Our President, Shumba Murambwi, was born in 1942 in Zvishavane and his family was sent to the then Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) after exhibiting passive resistance by defying Bantu Commissioners (now District Administrators) during the colonial era.
“While in Zambia, Cde Mnangagwa underwent military training under Zapu, he was then sent to China where he trained with others from Zimbabwe before returning to the country where he was then arrested for derailing a locomotive.
“He was sentenced to death but was exonerated by virtue of his young age.
“He then served 10 years and studied his law degree which he later finished in Lusaka, Zambia where he was sent after he was released from prison. He came back and became the Secretary for Security in the party doubling as Special Assistant to the President.
“After Independence he served in different capacities before being elected Second Secretary of Zanu-PF and Vice-President of the country before subsequently becoming the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.”