3 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Govt in Court After 'Tribalistic' Chief Appointment

Chiredzi — ZIMBABWE'S minority Shangaan group has taken the government to court after it installed a chief from outside the tribe.

The complainants argue the move by the government to install a chief from the Karanga tribe of the majority Shona people is tribalistic.

Chief Hlaisi Mundau Tshovani, who presides over Chiredzi where a new chief, Clement Madzingo, has been imposed, has approached the High Court contesting the decision

The Shangaan traditional leader argues Madzingo, who is Karanga like President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been appointed to undermine locals.

Tshovani argues he was not consulted over the matter despite the fact that the area for the proposed chieftainship fell under his jurisdiction.

CAJ News Africa has a copy of the legal documents addressed to Mnangagwa, which was also copied to Chief Justice of Zimbabwe High Court Luke Malaba and Attorney General.

"My writing to you is anchored by your acknowledgement of Clement Madzingo as Chief Neromwe whereby you, as president of Zimbabwe, signed his papers for him to be a substantive chief, imposing him on my land," Tshovani's letter reads.

He accused the government of imposing chiefs as was done by colonialists.

"Not even former president (Robert) Mugabe during his 37 years of power did that," the chief charged.

"When such matters of resuscitating old chieftainships arose, President Mugabe would widely consult all parties concerned, but your (Mnangagwa) new dispensation is imposing without any consultation."

Mnangagwa and his two deputies Kembo Mohadi and retired General Constantino Chiwenga are copied the court papers alongside Attorney-General Prince Machaya, Chief Justice Luke Malaba and Local Government minister, July Moyo.

"The issue, if you fail to handle it, has serious tribal connotations since I am a Shangaan chief, and the imposed Chief Neromwe in my area of jurisdiction is Karanga," the documents read.

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