Vice President Constantino Chiwenga on Friday hit out at Chief Murinye for warning President Emmerson Mnangagwa that he will not “cross over in 2023 if he doesn’t stop his people from looting.”

Chiwenga told the annual Chief’s Conference that Chief Murinye will be investigated.

“What we have seen in the past few days is never done,” he said. “Zvekuti munhu anosimuka otaura zvaanoda kuna paramount chief is never done. Zvinoitwa nemunhu anwa mutoriro. In this country it’s never done,” Chiwenga said.

“We have one Munhumutapa (Mnangagwa), we have one leader and it is that leader we give respect. It is that leader we show the entire nation what respect is all about. So, what has been done by Chief Murinye is going to be investigated by the Min of Local Govt & the chiefs’ council & if found guilty, disciplinary action would be taken. This is Zim. I thought I should say this, I respect Munhumutapa and no one touches him as long as I live.”

Chiwenga’s comments come after Chief Murinye told government officials, Zanu PF officials and people who attended a funeral in Masvingo Rural that the clock was ticking on Mnangagwa’s rule if he did not act on crooks surrounding him.

“I want the message to go straight to ED that he is not going to cross over in 2023 if he doesn’t stop his people from looting. We are fed-up with these criminals that surround the President. This is nonsense and it must stop; this country does not belong to anyone. You can kill me if you want but stop this,” said Chief Murinye.

He also accused Mnangagwa’s top men of laying claim to mineral discovered in the country and stashing the wealth outside the country.

“I would rather be a poor chief than have such filthy wealth in the midst of poverty. There is no development in this country, Government officials saw it for themselves the bad state of roads here. You hide your Zimbabwean passport out of shame when you are outside the country because of our bad name,” said Chief Murinye.

The court has previously ruled that traditional leaders should not participate in partisan politics as it was in contravention of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

However, in Zimbabwe traditional leaders have often pushed the ruling Zanu-PF’s agenda and those who have not cooperated have been victimised.