Chombo ‘defies’ Mugabe, ‘meddles’ in Zvimba chieftainship row

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LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo has reportedly organised a meeting to resolve the Zvimba chieftainship wrangle at Murombedzi growth point today, two months after President Robert Mugabe publicly chastised him and ordered him to stop meddling in the matter.

MOSES MATENGA
STAFF REPORTER

Informed sources from the Zvimba chieftainship yesterday questioned Chombo’s move, saying the Zvimba North MP and Zanu PF politburo member was eager to bulldoze his way.

The Zanu PF MP and politburo member, who was reportedly angling for the Presidency, recently attempted to manipulate chieftainships to manoeuvre his way to the summit of the ruling party.

However, the traditional leaders in Mugabe’s Zvimba rural home area resisted him, forcing the President to abort the inauguration on April 4 of Mathias Matare, also known as Dununu, as Chief Beperere after chiefs protested that he had been imposed on them by the Local Government ministry. The chiefs said Matare was not the right candidate for the chieftainship.

The chiefs also reportedly threatened that if the installation of Matare went ahead, they would walk out on Mugabe, who was present at Murombedzi Growth Point together with other members of his Gushungo clan.

According to the chiefs, Matare was handpicked by Chombo against the decision by the whole clan to install Harare provincial administrator Alfred Tome, from the Dyakonda family.

Yesterday, the chiefs told NewsDay that Chombo, in an apparent act of defiance, had set up a team comprising three provincial and two district administrators to coerce them to approve Matare against Mugabe’s view on the matter.

The move has set Chombo on a collision course with traditional leaders who accused him of defying a “clear order” from Mugabe by setting up the team and convening a meeting when the chiefs had forwarded Tome as their preferred candidate to assume the Zvimba chieftainship.

The current Chief Zvimba, Stanley Mhondoro, confirmed today’s meeting, adding that he and several other people involved in the matter were shocked by Chombo’s move.

“Chombo is yet to comply with the President’s directive two months ago and has called for a meeting. We are surprised why he has set up a team and called for this meeting. To do what?” Chief Zvimba queried.

“He is said to have called that meeting on the basis of what he is calling a protest letter. We see that as defiance of the President’s order by the minister. If there is a protest letter, it should be addressed to the President because he gave the final order.”

Chief Zvimba said Chombo insisted in a telephone conversation calling for the meeting that they should deal with the matter, but when asked on what he was doing with the directive by Mugabe, the minister said “we should leave the President out of this”.

Traditional leaders recently accused Chombo of harbouring Presidential ambitions and wanted to use chiefs to further his goal by appointing those loyal to him.

Chombo yesterday, however, scoffed at the allegations and said he would only issue a statement on the matter after today’s meeting.

“You don’t know what you are talking about. Go to that meeting with the Traditional Leaders Act, then talk to me after that meeting.Go to the meeting and make sure you have the Act with you and see whether it will happen according to the Act or not,” Chombo said.

He declined to comment on accusations of defying Mugabe.

The April drama occurred in Mugabe’s presence with some traditional leaders opposed to Matare’s appointment threatening to walk out on the President together with members of the Gushungo clan.

The sources who attended the first meeting said Mugabe ordered Chombo to start the appointment of the chieftainship process afresh and install a bona fide candidate to the throne according to the will of the traditional leaders from the Zvimba clan.

One of the family members, Stanley Chikami, is said to have openly told Mugabe that if he had come to inaugurate “a Local Government chief,” they (other chiefs from Zvimba) would immediately leave, setting the tone for the conflict.

Sources said following the stand-off, a whirlwind erupted and pulled down the tent Mugabe was sitting in, leaving the President’s bodyguards shielding the tent while he scurried for cover with villagers ululating.

The incident was interpreted by traditionalists as a sign that the ancestors had been angered by the way the matter was being handled.

10 COMMENTS

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  2. Mugabe is no longer in control. Ministers & army guys are corrupt, defying orders & looting the country right in front of his face

  3. chombo chaatanga u will neva stop him. Even those he fired or rehire, noone has ever contested with Chombo. In this case chombo will rest agadza munhu waari kuda humambo

  4. musinyanya munozviti mazezuru zveeda isu makorekore hati eenzvahwo nemabiedu ba adepusa fani chombo ngaayende huwori hwauraya nyika nhai abiyangu wee nhai gushungo matiregerera this man must leave office zichoomboooo

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