Chiefs in Mashonaland East have endorsed their support for Zanu PF and said they will not allow anyone who never fought in the liberation struggle or was an infant during that period to become the country's president.
Chiefs from the province on Monday held a meeting with the Zanu PF Mashonaland East Women's League in Marondera where they endorsed their support for Zanu PF and its presidential candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, ahead of this year's general elections.
However, in clear reference to the MDC-T acting president, Nelson Chamisa, the chiefs said they would do everything within their powers to ensure that he does not win.
"We will not allow someone who was a toddler, learning to walk during the liberation war to be the president of this country," Enos Musakwa known as Chief Musarurwa, told the Zanu PF Women's League members.
"As chiefs, we will not allow people who have no track record in fighting for the country's liberation struggle. We will not support someone who was young or not yet born during the war to be the President of Zimbabwe. Our support is with the people who fought for Zimbabwe's independence," the chief, who is also a senator, said on behalf of the other chiefs present.
In response to Chief Musarurwa's statements, Mabel Chinomona, the Zanu PF Women's League secretary, castigated women who supported Zanu PF while their children backed Chamisa.
"You openly show that you support Zanu PF, but your children at home are supporting Chamisa and you are turning a blind eye to that. You should stop that and take action against them. We will not allow that to happen," Chinomona, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, said.
Recently, all the chiefs in Zimbabwe received top of the range vehicles from the government in a move that has been condemned by the opposition parties as vote buying by the ruling party ahead of this year's elections.
Some of the chiefs have also been accused of victimising opposition activists in their areas and denying them access to food aid and agricultural inputs.