Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, has officially opened the Chiefâ€™s National Annual Conference in Kariba.
In his speech, President Mugabe said chiefs should not fear to be labeled for working with government as they have always worked together in the fight for justice and freedom.
â€œHow can you say you are chiefs when your people are reeling under sanctions, when your people have no shelter, when your people are hungry? Then you fold your arms and say what can we do, we are not allowed to be part of politics? Who told you that? We donâ€™t want to hear that. chiefs should continue fight for the rights of their people,â€ President Mugabe said.
President Mugabe said the interference by westerners in the countryâ€™s affairs is regrettable.
â€œAn independent country has the right to self-determination, that you should not interfere in the affairs of another country and they ( the west) seem not to understand that. Now because they are whites some of us continue to run to them like stupid people,â€ added President Mugabe.
He urged chiefs to work closely with the government in educating Zimbabweans about how the country’s freedom and hard won independence came about.
Cde Mugabe said Zimbabweans should take charge of the economy.
President of the Chiefâ€™s Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira, said chiefs will continue working with the government for the benefit of Zimbabweans.
â€œPresident, on behalf of the chiefs, we want to thank you and I want to assure you that we cherish your leadership and are proud of you. As chiefs we know that with your leadership, better days lie ahead for Zimbabwe,â€ said Chief Charumbira.
Over 200 chiefs are attending the conference together with other chiefs from the region and beyond, tackling various issues facing them.