Zimbabwe‘s newly formed opposition, the Chiefs Party, says it is aiming at making an impact in the country‘s rural areas “which need to be modernised” while “keeping traditions intact”.
In an interview with News24, the party‘s presidential candidate Carol Nyereyegona said that the Chiefs Party was about making sure that traditions and rural communities were provided with modern amenities – especially healthcare – while preserving the rural nature of village life.
“We want to protect the villages while also modernising our peoples lifestyle and integrating their traditions with the modern world. We want to bring modernity such as better infrastructures and technology to our villages. We, however, want to keep our traditions intact. Our party is about upholding the traditions while also embracing modern life,” said Nyereyegona.
She said that the party also wanted to promote “individual Zimbabweans to work and to grow our economy, while the government plays a supporting role when necessary”.
“The unemployed should no longer feel like they are forgotten, as we need them to support our country,” said Nyereyegona.
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She said that she had spoken to a number of people in the rural villages and was confident that her party would make great inroads during the forthcoming polls.
Zimbabwe was expected to hold its first presidential polls without
“We have spoken to a lot of people in rural areas and we want to make change there. We have spoken to a number of chiefs and headmen, who are supporting our initiative. We want people to be able to provide for their families. They must be free to make a change in their lives regardless of living in rural areas. Zimbabwe is mainly made up of villages and that is where we want to focus,” said Nyereyegona.
She, however, said that her party was not a traditional leaders‘ party.
Nyereyegona said that although the party was rooted across the country‘s villages, it was not going to shut down urban areas and was working towards establishing constituencies in the main urban centres that included the capital Harare.
“We started in the rural areas, but that does not mean we are not targeting voters in the urban centres. We are moving to the urban areas, we represent people who want to make change and see a better Zimbabwe. We love this country and we want to make sure that the traditions and traditional leaders are protected. We do want a modern life but it must also embrace and enhance our traditions as a people,” she said.