Zimbabwe: Chirumhanzu Dynasty Wrangle Over

27 November 2020

THE dispute on the Chirumhanzu dynasty is now over after two houses which were fighting for the chieftainship buried their hatchet and decided to work together to develop their empire.

The chieftainship of the two houses of two brothers Nherera and Simba met on September 14, 2020, at the District Development Coordinator (DDC)'s office and agreed to bury their differences and work together.

The appointment of Mr Fidelis Mudzengi as the acting Chief Chirumhanzu had seen the dynasty approach the High Court on August 17 with a view to stop the announcement of the acting chief, which it deemed at variance with "VaMhanzu" cultural norms and practices.

The meeting was held following the installation of Mr Mudzengi as acting Chief Chirumhanzu by the DDC on August 13, 2020, marking the end of a bitter fight that ensued after the death of the then chief, Mr Jerald Mudzengi in February 2019.

While the High Court threw out the case on the grounds of jurisdiction, the dynasty argued that other judges had presided over similar cases in Hwange and elsewhere.

The filing achieved its objective of raising awareness to the need to ensure proper succession and appointment of chiefs and demanding respect for tradition. Consequently, the court case delayed the formalisation of the acting chief's appointment and brought all the parties towards rapprochement.

On October 22, 2020, the acting chief convened the first meeting of the reconstituted dynasty committee that was attended by representatives of the eleven sub-houses, as well as the DDC.

The newly constituted dynasty committee will be the sole mouthpiece and enforcer of the dynasty processes led by Mr Julius Chigegwe, with the support of acting chief Mr Mudzengi and his vice-chairman Mr Jumo Jumo.

Opening that meeting, Mr Jumo urged unity and called on the royal houses to shun greed as a cancer that has hogged the chieftaincy for many years.

"Sons of Chirumhanzu, especially the house of Simba, I implore you to shun greed, selfishness and a lack of fairness," he said.

"That is the ill that has bedevilled our glorious history and heritage, leaving us exposed to manipulation at the expense of progress and development.

"The children of Simba and Nherera, unity is the unbreakable bedrock on which we have to build a progressive and thriving Chirumhanzu.

"I urge everyone to put aside our narrow interests, and focus on building a Chirumhanzu that future generations will be proud of."

The reconciliation meeting sought agreement on and refocused VaMhanzu to prioritise unity of purpose, uphold 'Chisungo' ChaNherera naSimba' and clarify Chirumhanzu's vision.

The 11 houses of Nherera which are Rutunga, Zinyoro, Chigegwe, Chimunye, Chiweshe, Simba-Bangure, Mabotsa, Muzondo, Chatikobo, Chaka and Masendeke, committed to work together with the DDC to increase the number of chiefs in the Chirumhanzu area and ensure each sub-house was upgraded to chieftaincy.

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