Chief Pashu of Binga is accused of “verbally attacking” Mnangagwa when she visited the remote district to commission a new fish pond on February 28.
Chief Pashu, whose name is George Nyathi, used the advance briefing meeting with Mnangagwa to criticise the fish pond which he said was “useless” to his community. The chief said of major concern to his people was the lack of electricity and mobile phone connectivity.
ZimLive has seen a confidential document which shows that the Joint Command Force made up of the Central Intelligence Organisation, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service met afterwards and resolved that the chief “would not be apprehended immediately as it was felt that they have been baited to act.”
A decision was taken “to de-escalate the situation as it is believed that he was sent and not working alone.”
“The command agreed that he would be brought in for questioning on Monday, March 4, a later date,” the document says.
Pashu had been given three minutes to brief Mnangagwa “but went up to 12 minutes blasting the first lady until the first lady interjected telling the chief that you have undressed me. She said she did not go there to be undressed but to commission the projects at Manyanda Secondary School,” the confidential security report says.
The chief, the document says, “directly verbally attacked the first lady about commissioning the fish pond at the school” saying it was “a useless thing to the community and he went on to say how can the first lady fly all the way from Harare to commission a fish pond…”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife “did not take much offence and stated that she understood his concerns… she took note of his concerns but educated him that it was not the right forum to air his grievances.”
The chief is reported to have apologised, and Mnangagwa then asked the chief for “permission to come and develop the area.”
The intended move on the chief follows similar visits by the CIO to Chief Vezi Maduna in Filabusi after he spoke out against what he said was the government’s marginalisation of his region.
Chief Maduna and Chief Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna have broken ranks with other traditional leaders, insisting that the institution of traditional chiefs now existed to service the ruling Zanu PF party and not the people. The chiefs’ independent streak has ruffled the Zanu PF government, with the ever-rising possibility of a potential breakaway from the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs.