THE Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu party has hailed traditional leaders in Matabeleland for standing firm in support of the planned coronation of King Lobengula’s heir, which was stopped at the last minute by both the government and the High Court last week.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU/TALENT GUMPO
Local Government minister July Moyo last Wednesday ordered the ban on the coronation of Colin Bulelani Khumalo, as King Lobengula’s heir saying the event was unconstitutional.
Justice Martin Makonese on Friday also stopped the coronation following an urgent High Court chamber application by the crown council.
Matabeleland chiefs condemned the ban, arguing the coronation was a cultural event, which had nothing to do with the country’s politics.
“The unity of purpose displayed by the chiefs in the face of a paranoid repressive regime blocking the event over the weekend was demonstration of astute and resolute leadership.
“Zapu, as believers in people’s power, stand firm behind the chiefs and are supportive of their brave stance against the repressive Zimbabwean establishment that is prepared to disregard the Constitution and international statutes on human rights in order to push a hegemonic system that violates rights of citizens,” Zapu spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa, said yesterday.
Police last week fought running battles with Bulawayo residents and activists, who thronged the High Court awaiting Makonese’s judgment and at Babourfields — venue of the coronation.
Lobengula was the last Ndebele king, following the annihilation of the Ndebele Kingdom in 1893 by the British Pioneer Column led by Cecil John Rhodes.
“How the country’s courts endorsed the November coup and deny coronation of a Ndebele Crown Prince beats the legal mind, especially considering the constitutionality around the Ndebele monarchy and its historical connotations,” Maphosa said.
“Failure to interpret the law and Constitution leading to the weird High Court provisional order over the matter is testimony that the Zanu PF system is so hell bent on perpetuating its evil on the people even in areas the Constitution seeks to protect them.”
Maphosa said the court’s decision smacks of hypocrisy
Meanwhile, development analyst, Nkululeko Ndlovu has urged Zimbabweans not to politicise the coronation, saying it is a tradition, commonly practised in many African countries.