The circus regarding the revival of the Ndebele kingdom continues to play out in the public domain, with rival groups each declaring who they prefer to be the successor.
In the past month alone, no less than three people have been mentioned as King Lobengula’s heirs, making a mockery of the idea to restore the kingdom.
If the Ndebele people, particularly the Khumalos, want to be taken seriously, then they must put an end to this circus, as they are quickly becoming a joke.
We believe that the revival of the kingdom is within their culture and it is up to them how they go about it, but developments of the past few months have been bordering on farce and bring the restoration of the monarchy into disrepute.
First, there was Raphael Stanley Tshuma, who claims to originally a Khumalo, who, with the help of some activists, declared himself King Mzilikazi II, saying his coronation would be next month.
Barely a few weeks later, some members of the Khumalo clan claimed to have identified Bulelani Khumalo, who is based in South Africa, as the crown prince.
However, others in the Khumalo clan, which is considered the Ndebele royal family, have distanced themselves from Bulelani and say they identified someone else.
They have insisted that the royal heir should be from among King Lobengula’s descendants, who had been left out from discussions on the monarchy.
At one time, it was thought Prince Zwide KaLanga Khumalo was the heir apparent, but each time a new name crops up.
The whole process has now been muddied by contradicting statements and the involvement of many cooks, who have undoubtedly spoiled the broth.
If the Khumalos cannot agree among themselves, then they should either give up on the idea of the restoration of the Ndebele kingdom or involve the government and some prominent historians.
It should also be made clear that this is just a ceremonial process and whoever is chosen does not have political power, as the idea of absolute monarchies belongs to a bygone era.
This is a cultural issue, which should have no interference in the country’s governance and for the preservation of history and heritage, it ought to be supported by the authorities.
However, the Khumalos cannot expect to get support if their house is not in order and they should be working on a clear and transparent process to name King Lobengula’s heir.
As it is, this issue lacks the seriousness it deserves and has been reduced to child’s play.