Hwange villagers petition Govt to instal substantive Chief Mvuthu
VILLAGERS in Hwange District have petitioned the late Chief Mvuthu’s family and Government to urgently install a substantive chief.
Chief Mvuthu born Nyangayezizwe Mlotshwa of Monde area, Hwange District, died in March 2014 aged 61.
His brother Mr Saunders Mlotshwa was nominated as the successor but the late Chief ’s daughter, Silibaziso now aged 23 challenged that in court arguing that she is the one who should takeover from her late father.
In 2016, the Bulawayo High Court interdicted Mr Mlotswa from taking over the throne but he appealed to the Supreme Court and the matter is still pending. Mr Bishop Matata Sibanda is acting chief. Villagers feel the wrangle is retarding development.
A few months ago villagers formed an imbizo, a gathering of villagers from the same chieftaincy led by community elders to push the family to resolve the succession dispute.
The petition seen by this publication was copied to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Richard Moyo, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing July Moyo, Provincial Administrator Mrs Latiso Dlamini, Matabeleland North Provincial Chiefs Assembly, National Chief ’s Council, the Mlotshwa family and the acting chief.
It was signed by 715 villagers from Chisuma, Monde, Ndlovu and Sidobe areas. LEGISLATORS have expressed concern over the fast deteriorating students’ welfare at institutions of higher learning due to inadequate accommodation and learning facilities which they say has lowered moral standards.
The law makers also noted that students on scholarship at universities in other countries were in a distressful situation and recommended the recalling of the scholarship fund to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development for better monitoring.
Presenting its budget analysis in Parliament last week, the portfolio committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development said students often resort to expensive rented accommodation which forces some to resort to prostitution
Hwange District Administrator Mr Simon Muleya confirmed receiving the petition.
“The absence of a chief has not only denied us primary custodianship of our language, culture and traditional practices but the economic and social privileges commonly derived from chieftaincy,” reads the petition.
Villagers said they respect the Ndebele culture rooted in Nguni custom where the Mvuthu clan originated, in terms of naming a successor. In the Ndebele culture, the eldest son is named successor after the death of a chief. If the chief ’s eldest child was a girl, she would be bypassed in favour of the next eldest son in the pecking order.
In the event that a chief had no son at all for vertical succession to take place, a rare lateral succession from the late chief to his brother was followed and still applies in the Ndebele culture, historian Mr Pathisa Nyathi said recently while commenting on the issue.
Deputy president of the Chiefs’ Council Chief Mtshane Khumalo of Bubi said the issue has not been formally taken to the Chiefs’ Council. “The Chiefs’ Provincial Assembly is the one that should deal with such issues and whatever outcome is then reported to the Chiefs’ Council which will apprise the Minister to take it to the President.
“I’m aware of the issue but since it hasn’t been formally brought to the Chiefs’ Council, villagers can push the family to resolve it because the court doesn’t appoint but only gives guidance,” he said.
The imbizo met last week and resolved to send a delegation to the DA’s office next week as a follow up to the petition.
Speaking after the meeting, a committee leader Mr Zamani Dube said the community is worried about underdevelopment compounded by lack of a substantive chief.
“It’s close to five years now since the chief died and we’re missing out on a lot of benefits that come through a substantive chief hence people want the Mvuthu family to name a successor who should be installed as a matter of urgency,” he said. — @ncubeleon
Minister Richard Moyo