18 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Chief's Installation Sparks Tribal Tensions

Chiredzi — ETHNIC tensions are rising in Zimbabwe over the government's alleged marginalization of minority tribes.

The divisions have spilled to the largely peaceful southeast where President Emmerson Mnangagwa is accused of imposing a chief from the major Karanga tribe on the Vatsonga people, also known as Shangaans.

The fury follows the installation of Clement Madzingo in Chief Tshovani's territory.

The move has sparked instability.

"This is provoking to us as the minority tribe," said Hasani Baloyi, a Chiredzi villager presently residing in Pretoria, South Africa.

"If no urgent reversal to this abuse of power by President Mnangagwa and his new regime, something bad might happen in our land."

Another Chiredzi local, Amukelani Livombo, said the imposition would result in conflict.

"Such glaring provocative moves are the ones that spark even civil wars in Africa," Livombo said.

The Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), a militant Matabeleland region pressure group, which is advocating for the independence of southern Zimbabwe citing marginalisation, also cautioned government against undermining minority tribes.

"MRP (Mthwakazi Republic Party) sympathises with Chief Tshovani and the Shangaan people in Chiredzi who are suffering from state-sponsored tribalism against them. We note with concern the unrestrained attack by the majority Shona tribes, especially Karanga and Zezuru on the unprotected Shangaan people," the party stated.

MRP has approached the Bulawayo High Court to show solidarity with Chief Tshovani's court application against the installation of Madzingo in his jurisdiction.

Shangaan communities have been complaining about lack of development under the ruling ZANU-PF.

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