CONFUSION continues to rock the restoration of the Ndebele kingdom, with the last King Lobengula’s descendants on Monday distancing themselves from 32-year-old Bulelani Colin Lobengula Khumalo, who was declared the crown prince and next in line as the monarch.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Ayanda Khumalo, who identified himself as the Khumalo clan’s secretary, declared Bulelani as the heir apparent, only a few weeks after Stanley Raphael Khumalo, declared himself the new King Mzilikazi II.
But the Lobengula family members released a statement saying Bulelani was not the heir apparent, describing the claim, which they said did not come from the royal family, as frivolous and aimed at misleading the Ndebele community.
King Lobengula descendants said they were not consulted about Bulelani’s claim, making it a dubious and curious one.
“King Lobengula’s house was never consulted and it never seconded any of its members to represent its interests in any of the said many consultation meetings,” the family said.
“In letters dated September 11, 2016 and September 18, 2017 to the chairperson of the Khumalo clan, Bruce Khumalo, concerns were raised by King Lobengula’s family members that they were not consulted nor invited to meetings in which the revival of the Ndebele monarch is discussed.
“The said consultation meetings were not inclusive of the crown house, King Lobengula’s house.”
The family said they had the mandate to identify the heir to the Ndebele throne.
“The other Khumalo houses such as Inzonda, Amanyangana, Omdamba (and) Ongwende have their specific roles that should not interfere with the role of the crown House of coming up with the crown prince,” the family continued.
“In this instance, the collective Khumalo side-lined King Lobengula’s house, attempted to divide it by isolating Rhodes’s House of Njube taking advantage of its remoteness from Zimbabwe in the Xhosa land in the Eastern Cape and its lack of familiarity with the culture and issues in Matabeleland.
“This is creating unnecessary confusion in the process of reviving the monarchy.”
But Ayanda dismissed the statement, which he said was not signed.
“The attitude of the Khumalos is that we will respond after we know the brains behind all this and we have asked them to attach their names,” he said.
“We are not endorsing anything.”
The restoration of the Ndebele monarchy continues to be a contentious issue, with the Khumalo clans bickering endlessly among themselves on who should be king.