SOME members the crowd that gathered at Chaka business centre for the launch of the Harare-Beitbridge highway dualization project on Thursday last week expressed disappointment at the “unAfrican” treatment the local traditional leadership was made to kneel before President Robert Mugabe.
At the event, the host chief, Chief Chirumhanzi, born Gerald Mudzengi, together with his headmen went to kneel before Mugabe and his two Vice Presidents and other senior officials who were seated at the high table.
Although the official programme, slotted below National Anthem and Prayer was “Kuombera Madzishe” (Greeting the Chiefs), in reality it turned out that it was the hapless Chiefs who had to be humiliated as they knelt before hundreds of their subjects to pay homage to Mugabe, who himself claims to respect chiefs and local traditions.
“This is unheard of… How can traditional chiefs be made to do this? It’s worse than how the Chiefs were treated during the colonial era,” remarked one official.
Ideally, Mugabe who was the visitor to the area was the one who was supposed to greet the local leadership, but the roles ended up vice versed.