Byo High Court blocks Chief Mvuthu in­stal­la­tion

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Ti­no­muda Chakanyuka Se­nior Re­porter

THE High Court in Bu­l­awayo has blocked the process of con­firm­ing Mr San­ders Mlotshwa as the sub­stan­tive Chief Mvuthu un­til de­ter­mi­na­tion by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court on the wran­gle with his niece Miss Silibaziso Mlotshwa over the throne.

This fol­lows an ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion by Miss Mlotshwa seek­ing to stop Hwange Dis­trict Ad­min­is­tra­tor from for­ward­ing her un­cle’s name to the Govern­ment, as the des­ig­nate Chief Mlotshwa.

Mr Mlotshwa, the Dis­trict Ad­min­is­tra­tor for Hwange, Min­is­ter of Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, Pro­mo­tion of Cul­ture and Her­itage, Cde Abed­nico Ncube and Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe are cited as first, sec­ond, third and fourth re­spon­dents re­spec­tively in the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Bu­l­awayo High Court Judge Jus­tice Ni­cholas Mathonsi on Fri­day last week is­sued a pro­vi­sional or­der in­ter­dict­ing the DA from in­stalling a sub­stan­tive Chief Mvuthu.

Jus­tice Mathonsi said a sub­stan­tive chief could only be in­stalled af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court makes a de­ter­mi­na­tion on the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the Nde­bele/ Nguni cus­tom­ary law suc­ces­sion prin­ci­ple which ex­cludes women from hold­ing the po­si­tion of chief.

“Pend­ing the fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion of this ap­pli­ca­tion it is or­dered that the sec­ond re­spon­dent be in­ter­dicted from for­ward­ing the name of the first re­spon­dent to the third or fourth re­spon­dent for con­fir­ma­tion as sub­stan­tive Chief Mvuthu pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenge pend­ing be­fore the Con­sti­tu­tional Court. The process of ap­point­ing a sub­stan­tive chief for the Mvuthu chief­tain­ship be stayed pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the con­sti­tu­tional chal­lenge pend­ing be­fore the courts,” reads the in­ter­dict in part.

Jus­tice Mathonsi gave Mr Mlotshwa 12 days to op­pose the pro­vi­sional or­der, from the day he was served with the or­der. Miss Mlotshwa, the eldest daugh­ter of the late Chief Mvuthu Mlotshwa has ap­proached the Con­sti­tu­tional Court con­test­ing her ex­clu­sion in the nom­i­na­tion process for the in­her­i­tance of her fa­ther’s throne.

Her clans­man barred her from tak­ing over her fa­ther’s throne be­cause she ex­pe­ri­ences monthly men­strual pe­ri­ods, among other rea­sons. Miss Mlotshwa ap­proached the Con­sti­tu­tional Court af­ter the Supreme Court ad­vised her that the mat­ter was a con­sti­tu­tional one.

She, through her lawyer Mr Thulani Ndlovu of San­sole and Senda Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers, is chal­leng­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the Nguni cus­tom­ary suc­ces­sion prin­ci­ple which ex­cludes women from ap­point­ment as chiefs. She ar­gues that such cus­tom­ary prin­ci­ple is in­con­sis­tent with the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe.

“It is my fur­ther view that the Nguni cus­tom­ary suc­ces­sion prin­ci­ple in as far as it ex­cludes women from chief­tain­ship vi­o­lates my rights as pro­tected in the Dec­la­ra­tion of Rights be­ing my right to equal­ity and nondis­crim­i­na­tion (Sec­tion 56), right to dig­nity (Sec­tion 51), right to lan­guage and cul­ture (Sec­tion 63) and rights of women (Sec­tion 80) of the Con­sti­tu­tion,” she stated.

The Mvuthu throne be­came va­cant af­ter the death of Chief Mvuthu Mlotshwa in 2014 and his brother Mr San­ders Mlotshwa was ap­pointed chief.

Miss Mlotshwa con­tested her un­cle’s ap­point­ment con­tend­ing that she was sup­posed to takeover from her late fa­ther as she was the eldest of her fa­ther’s three daugh­ters.

The Nguni cul­ture fol­lows a lin­eal sys­tem of suc­ces­sion where the eldest child of the chief is heir to the throne. Miss Mlotshwa fur­ther ar­gued that in KwaZulu-Natal where the Ngu­nis orig­i­nate, there were now many fe­male chiefs who have un­der­taken the tasks equally com­pe­tently.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.