Prince Zwidekalanga Khumalo, a descendant of King Lobengula, yesterday said Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo should not blame the royal family’s alleged “infighting” for the failure by the local authority “to celebrate Ndebele culture”.
Moyo was recently quoted in the media bemoaning the wrangling between the two Khumalo houses, Mzilikazi and Lobengula descendants, over the Ndebele throne, saying this was hindering plans by the local authority to celebrate Ndebele culture.
The mayor said an option was to trace the descendants to South Africa which should make it easy to determine the heir to the throne and end the confusion.
But Khumalo said Moyo should have consulted the royal family first before making statements in the media.
“The failure of council to establish cultural observances in the community cannot be linked to so-called failures within the royal family,” he said in an interview.
“If that is what he (Moyo) felt, he should have
consulted us first before saying it publicly.
“It is absolutely unfair and borders on being inappropriate that the image of the royal family be further damaged in areas where people can make decisions without involving us.”
Khumalo said the order of succession of the Ndebele royal family is found in Zimbabwe and not in South Africa.
“The point that we probably need to go back to South Africa to trace who is meant to be the Ndebele king is unjust,” he said.
“This succession cannot be debated in South Africa, but here because it is the succession of people in Mthwakazi and not in South Africa. The descendants are in Mthwakazi and the royal family will not back down to all these accusations.”
However, a defiant Moyo said he would not stand by and “watch the situation deteriorate”.
“I am not a Khumalo, but I am talking as a leader of this city,” he said.
“I find it strange that they are failing to say who is meant to stand on behalf of the royal family. This is not something that should be problematic.
“This is a city of kings because of its establishment by the royal family who are descendants of King Mzilikazi and King Lobengula.
“This is why we should be worried because it was built by the Khumalos who are failing to tell us who will represent them.”