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Jeremiah Chirau Zimbabwe politician

Chief Jeremiah Chirau (1924–1990) was a notable figure among (Southern) Rhodesia’s chiefs, and during the UDI he became the only leader of the Zimbabwe United People’s Organisation (ZUPO), a party largely comprising chiefs. Born near Makonde, he was awarded a medal for service in World War II. A staunch traditionalist, he was well versed in African customary law. In 1961 he was appointed acting chief, and eventually rose to chiefship of the communal lands of the Chirau people. Elected to the Council of Chiefs, he became its president in 1973, a position he held until his death. He entered politics in 1970 when he was elected into the Senate. He formed ZUPO in 1978 and was a signatory to the Internal Settlement. ZUPO contested the resulting elections but failed to win any seats and was subsequently disbanded.

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