Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
DEPUTY Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Christopher Chingosho, last week stunned people when he introduced a villager as Chief Tandi at a function that was supposed to be presided over by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Cde Chingosho introduced Mr Peter Tandi as Chief Tandi despite the presence of the legitimate chief Tandi, Mr William Samhungu.
The deputy minister and Mr Peter Tandi are opposed to Headlands farmer, Robert Smart’s eviction from Lesbury Estate — situated 26 kilometres west of Rusape in Cde Chingosho’s Headlands Constituency.
The farm was subdivided and allocated to Victory Tabernacle leader, Bishop Trevor Manhanga, Mr David Nyakonda and the incumbent Chief Tandi.
Cde Chingosho, who was in-charge of the proceedings, gave a considerable length of time to Mr Tandi, during the briefing where he asserted himself as the incumbent Chief Tandi and that he had the interests of “his people at heart.”
His address was stage-managed to distort the legitimate eviction of Smart to the intended guest VP Mnangagwa and influence Smart’s stay.
To prove that Mr Tandi, who Cde Chingosho, constantly referred to as changamire, was bogus — he was not donning the chieftain emblem as was the case with the real Chief Tandi — who remained silent and shook his head in disbelief as the impostor incoherently tried to discredit the legal acquisition of the farm.
The stand-in guest of honour, Professor Paul Mavhima and the director responsible for traditional leadership in the Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, Mr Willard Chikovo were visibly shaken by Mr Tandi’s choreographed account before security officers explained to them the politics behind his smuggling into the briefing.
Prof Mavhima, who had been made to believe he was the authentic Chief Tandi — had promised to convey his misgivings to the VP Mnangagwa. Chief Tandi said he was not aware of the event since he was not invited.
Chief Tandi accused Cde Chingosho of interfering and sponsoring rebellion in the Tandi Chieftainship.
“I did not send Peter Tandi to represent me at that meeting and his utterances should not be attributed to the office of Chief Tandi, but to his handler, Christopher Chingosho. As Chief Tandi, I do not send a representative to meetings, that is my policy.
“Peter Tandi is an imposter and the law will soon catch up with him for masquerading as Chief Tandi. He is not and will never be Chief Tandi. That was a distortion, and he belongs to the prison for posturing,” said Chief Tandi.
“I am the custodian of this land and its cultural heritage. The VP should also know that I do not see eye-to-eye with Chingosho. He is the one sponsoring Peter Tandi to create problems in my chieftainship and distort the history of the legitimate acquisition of Lesbury Farm. What he is doing is against Government policy and he is unfit to hold such a crucial public office,” said Chief Tandi, adding that Mr Tandi’s actions were symptomatic of a man who sold his soul for the thirty pieces of silver.
Acting Manicaland Provincial Administrator, Mr Edgars Seenza also confirmed that Mr Tandi was bogus.
“He was introduced to me at the meeting as Chief Tandi, but later I noted something unusual about his dressing and language. I was tipped that he was not the real Chief Tandi, he didn’t have a badge on him,” said Mr Seenza.