NTABAZINDUNA Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni has accused Macroeconomic Planning and Investment Promotion minister and Umguza legislator, Obert Mpofu, of disobeying his principal, President Robert Mugabe, by interfering in chieftaincy issues that were outside his jurisdiction.
BY SILAS NKALA
Chief Ndiweni has now sought the intervention of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage minister Abednigo Ncube to rein in Mpofu.
In a letter dated August 1 to Ncube and copied to Mugabe and his two Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Chief Ndiweni accused Mpofu of unilaterally changing traditional boundaries in order to impose Chief Deli of Matabeleland South.
Chief Deli comes from Hope Fountain under Umzingwane district in Matabeleland South, according to the letter.
“Chief (Zephaniah) Sigola of Matabeleland South has been annexed into Umguza constituency, resulting in serious challenges for the elderly chief,” part of the letter read.
“Mpofu unilaterally annexed parts of Bulawayo and large parts of Matabeleland South to his constituency.
“This amounts to geographical crimes that impinge upon the residents adversely.”
Chief Ndiweni said the imposition of Chief Deli had strained his relationship with Mpofu, whom he also accused of working outside his parameters. He said Mpofu was blatantly meddling in the affairs of another ministry.
“Within the Ndiweni chieftaincy . . . Mpofu wishes to unilaterally appoint the chief. Seeking to utilise powers that he does not have and blatantly meddling in the affairs of another ministry that is your responsibility minister,” Chief Ndiweni wrote.
“In such a situation of open defiance to His Excellency, then how does your department wish the traditional leaders to work?
“Mpofu interfered in the Ndondo chieftaincy for some time by advancing the Ndzombane family. This resulted in mediation by myself between the two families.”
Contacted to verify the authenticity of the letter, Chief Ndiweni said: “Who brought that letter? I cannot comment on it unless you say who the source of the letter is.
“If you tell me that, I will gladly comment on it, that is the way I work.”
Efforts to get comment from Ncube were fruitless, as his mobile number was not reachable.
However, indications were that he had not yet responded to Ndiweni’s letter. Mpofu yesterday declined to comment, saying he would not talk to people who lied about him.