PRESIDENT of the Chief’s Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira, is now off the hook after the High Court ordered Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage minister Abednego Ncube to stop investigating his contested chieftainship.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Justice David Mangota made the ruling yesterday after Charumbira applied for an interdict order barring the ministry’s investigative team, led by Fanuel Mkwaira, from pursuing the matter.
“The first respondent’s [Ncube] investigative and dispute resolution team constituted in May 2017 to investigate the dispute between the applicant [Chief Charumbira] and the second respondent [Mkwaira] be and is hereby declared unconstitutional, unlawful and of no relevance,” Justice Mangota ruled and ordered all the respondents in the matter to pay costs of suit on a legal practitioner and client scale.
In his urgent chamber application filed in May, Chief Charumbira said the proposed investigative team had already been set in motion, but was in contravention of the Constitution.
Charumbira had cited Ncube in his official capacity, Fainos Mapingure, Mkwaira, Kutamahufa and Edgar Senza as respondents.
Charumbira said, out of the blue, he had learnt in April 2017 from Ncube that Mapingure had claimed that he was the legitimate Chief Charumbira.
“This came as a matter of shock to me as there could never be a possible basis on which the second respondent [Mapingure] could bring such a claim … more so at this point in time when the chieftainship of the Charumbiras has been settled over several years and 17 years into my tenure as Chief Charumbira,” he said.
“It will be unlawful for the respondents herein to subject the applicant and his clan to an illegal and unconstitutional investigative and dispute resolution process. The respondent’s unlawful process will cause untold hardship to the applicant, the entire Charumbira clan and applicant’s constituency the traditional leaders of Zimbabwe as the applicant may be removed from his position and his clan may be burdened with an illegitimate leader.”
The Chief further said he would suffer irreparable harm if he was to be subjected to the “illegal proceedings” which had far-reaching implications on his standing as Chief Charumbira.
Charumbira further said the illegitimate process would only save to undermine his dignity and integrity, since he was held in very high esteem among the traditional leaders and the public at large.
The traditional leader, who is also a Senator, said as a chief he was involved in a number of additional issues which included leading various projects in his jurisdiction, resolving disputes and ensuring environmental conservation, food aid programme (zunderamambo), anti HIV and Aids campaign among many others.