Tsvangirai’s Dismissal Of Chief Negomo Summons Could Hurt Him

Prime Ministers Morgan Tsvangirai’s dismissal of a summons  by Chief Negomo to his traditional court for that November “marriage” to Locadia Karimatsenga may be ill-advised.

In most parts of Zimbabwe, it is traditionally frowned upon to have marriage proceedings in November.

Even if the PM’s suspicions are correct that there is ZANU-PF/CIO element in the whole saga, the whole thing will play differently in the public court. It is providing fodder for ZANU-PF to brand the MDC-T as a party that has no respect for culture especially after those comments about gay and lesbian rights.

In reality, Chief Negomo’s court is symbolic and showing up just to go through the motions will do more good than harm. In the public court he will win points as being culturally connected. It is the same way that even South African Jacob Zuma gains traction among the masses because he is seen as respecting cultural norms. In Zimbabwe Chiefs are empowered by the Traditional Leaders Act of 1998 to summon any person under their jurisdiction no matter what their status may be.

Add to that, the fact that come election time, he will need those chiefs to back him among their people.

There is a thin line between being principled and being reasonable.