Hwange vil­lagers pe­ti­tion Govt to in­stal sub­stan­tive Chief Mvuthu

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Re­porter Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara Chron­i­cle Re­porter

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

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