THE circus over the selection of the heir apparent to the Ndebele kingship continues to rage with the Khumalo clan denying speculative reports that its chosen candidate, Bulelani Collins Lobengula Khumalo, based in South Africa, had turned down the crown.
BY SILAS NKALA
Social media reports at the weekend claimed that Bulelani recently wrote to clan leaders, advising them that he was not interested in the post.
Umthwakazi kaMzilikazi Cultural Association leader Nhlanhla Khumalo yesterday dismissed the rumour, saying the claims were from people who wanted to derail the process of Prince Bulelani’s coronation.
“I am not the one who is supposed to speak on behalf of the crown prince, but all that is in that letter are lies by people from the other camp who want to disturb the process of installing a legitimate king. The whole process is in the hands of the chiefs who are in constant contact with the crown prince, and, as I speak, I am distributing T-shirts ahead of the coronation next month,” Khumalo said.
“Some people just wrote that letter, it is not from him. We know who wrote it, they are wasting their time because we are working on the programme for the installation. People must not worry themselves about that fake letter; the crown prince is willing and ready to be installed.”
The letter, purportedly written by Bulelani and despatched to the Press and social media, stated that Bulelani said he could not be Ndebele king.
The Khumalo clan and chiefs in Matabeleland, led by Paramount Chief Nhlanhlayemangwe Ndiweni, have since announced that Bulelani will be crowned on March 3 at the late King Mzilikazi’s headquarters, Mhlahlandlela, 20km south of Bulawayo.
“I, hereby, write to the generality of Mthwakazi, and the world at large, regarding a simmering issue in Zimbabwe. I am aware that the issues I am going to discuss here are important to the people of my forefathers, and I shall be as honest as possible…,” the letter, purportedly written by Bulelani, read.
“I was born in South Africa, and for all practical purposes, that is the country I call home…I am aware that the people of my forefathers have a programme to resuscitate their nationhood… I have been approached many times by some of the leaders to stand in as their king.”
The letter states that traditional leaders and the Khumalos traced Bulelani’s blood and found out that he was born of royal blood.
“However, in my sincere and honest opinion, I cannot lead a people I was not raised among… I, hereby, write to apologise to the leaders who approached me on the matter, and to Mthwakazi as a whole. I put it here and now, that I can not be a Ndebele king,” the letter added.
“The coronation ceremony is slated for March 3 and I continue telling the leadership from Zimbabwe that I am not interested in this matter. I am not the best person to represent these people, in whatever form. This is why I did not turn up in September 2017, when they were releasing my name to the public.”
This contradiction comes at a time when another Khumalo clan faction led by the King Lobhengula Royal House has announced Prince Peter Zwide Kalanga Khumalo as the crown prince.
King Lobhengula Royal House spokesperson Jonathan Maphenduka announced Peter Zwide Kalanga as the crown prince on Sunday through a statement.
“The name of the prince, heir to the throne that was last held by King Nyamande I, is Peter Zwidekalanga Khumalo. Upon ascension to the royal throne, the king is dubbed King Nyamande Lobhengula II,” Maphenduka said.
“There shall be an unveiling conference on February 17, whereupon King Nyamande Lobhengula II shall be announced in person to the people, the nation of Mthwakazi. Peter Zwidekalanga Khumalo has royal lineage as follows: Mzilikazi Khumalo, father to Lobhengula Khumalo, father to Nyamande Khumalo, father to Sumpe Khumalo, father to Peter Zwidekalanga Khumalo. He also has royal lineage from the maternal side. Family trees are available to the public upon request.”
He said King Nyamande I was born in 1873, three years after King Lobengula’s coronation. He said from among all his father’s progeny, he was identified as successor by his father King Lobhengula before disappearance, and was coronated on June 25, 1896 at Entumbane.
“Nyamande I led the Umvukela Owehloka Elibomvu as a king in 1896. After the uprising, he was detained and restricted to the wild Bembesi forest. He later died in 1929, and is buried at Insuza. King Nyamande Lobhengula II is a direct descendant of King Nyamande I,” Maphenduka said.