TRADITIONAL leaders are contravening the Constitution when they pledge their support for a presidential candidate, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president Andrew Ntewewe has said.
The amended Constitution states that a chief should not participate in partisan politics as long as he or she remained a traditional leader.
Mr. Ntewewe said it was entirely wrong for any chief regardless of their political preferences to endorse a president of a political party. “It’s appalling to note that some chiefs have in recent times made certain declarations canvassing for votes for their preferred presidential candidates.
“The Constitution does not allow chiefs to take part in partisan politics for as long as they have not abdicated their positions. The chief has no business doing that,” Mr. Ntewewe said.
He stated that the involvement of chiefs in active politics would only promote divisions and in turn make them lose respect from the people.
Mr. Ntewewe said chiefs should always keep in mind that they were above politics and that many people were looking up to them. “A chief is like a public worker who is supposed to be non-partisan because if he participates in active politics, he would promote tribalism which will bring about division among the people.
“It would also not be a good thing to see a chief being drawn into a political arena where he is reduced and demeaned with all sorts of accusations and insults that go with politicking. Chiefs are supposed to be respectable people and that should be maintained,” he said.