ZIMBABWEANS are suffering economically due to ever increasing prices of commodities, chiefs have told Acting President Kembo Dugish Mohadi.
The traditional leaders made the remarks during a closed-door meeting at a hotel in Masvingo yesterday.
Briefing the Press after the meeting, Acting President Mohadi, who heads the peace and reconciliation cluster in Cabinet, said the Government was addressing the issue through the establishment of silo shops.
He assured chiefs and the whole nation that Government was setting up silo shops selling basic commodities at affordable prices.
“They told me that they encounter political and economic conflicts emanating from price hikes. On skyrocketing prices, I want to reiterate that we are introducing silo shops whose prices are affordable. We do not want to be caught in the web of price controls,” he said.
Acting President Mohadi said traditional chiefs also raised concern over their limited powers especially in cases of jurisdictions that change due to cities or towns’ expansion.
“They have told me that their powers have been eroded by the expansion of cities or urban areas. They were saying some cities have been extended and encroached into their area and there is a dilemma of jurisdiction as part of these cities are now taken as not under the chief’s control. They feel that such developments are untoward for the traditional chiefs,” he said.
“The Traditional leaders Act should be looked into on what it lacks. I agreed with them and have asked them to sit down and help in the compilation of a report from this meeting. We should look into resolutions and recommendations made from this meeting before we have another meeting.”
Acting President Mohadi said the country should use traditional ways to resolve conflict where chiefs superintend over differences within their subjects.
He said before the advent of colonialism, chiefs were resolving conflicts between families or individuals.
The Acting President said traditional leaders were better positioned to bring peace among people with a conflicted past through the use of indigenous knowledge that they acquired from their fore fathers.
“This is the seventh meeting that I have held with the traditional chiefs. I started with chiefs in Mazowe in Mashonaland Central and I am now left with Mashonaland West where I will go from here,” said Acting President Mohadi.
“I hold these meetings with the chiefs because we want to know how we can tap into their indigenous knowledge pertaining to conflict resolution. We want to use that as a nation to find out how we can achieve peace and tranquility among our people. We want to try as much as possible to use the African approach to conflict resolution to find possibilities on how to minimise conflict.”
Turning to food production in rural communities, Acting President Mohadi said Government, as usual, was distributing free inputs that include fertilizers, to the chiefs.
He reiterated that Isiphala SeNkosi /Zunde Ramambo would be maintained and supported by the Presidential Input Scheme.
“We have given chiefs five tons of rice each and we want to do more,” said Acting President Mohadi.
Speaking during an earlier briefing, Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Cde Ezra Chadzamira hailed chiefs for supporting Government initiatives and upholding culture as its custodians.
The meeting was attended by all the 44 chiefs in Masvingo province, district development co-ordinators, Minister of State in Vice President Mohadi’s office Davis Marapira and Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira.
The chiefs were asked to remain in Masvingo for today’s anti-sanctions march scheduled for Mucheke Stadium.
The march will start from Benjamin Burombo Government Complex up to Mucheke Stadium where people will be addressed by Minister Chadzamira. Different groups and individuals are expected to give solidarity messages.