THE government has postponed the installation of Chief Felix Nhlanhlayemangwe Khayisa Ndiweni indefinitely under unclear circumstances, amid suspicion that internal wrangles, political interference and that he recently hosted Bulelani Collin Khumalo, a South Africa-based heir apparent to the Ndebele throne, are among reasons for the suspension.
BY SILAS NKALA
The Khayisa Ndiweni clan is reportedly embroiled in a wrangle over the chieftainship and is accusing Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu of interference and causing divisions in the clan.
Mpofu is alleged to be supporting Thambo’s ascension, while Nhlanhlayemangwe is already acting chief.
Chief Maduna wants to summon Mpofu to his court over the issue and has since written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, seeking permission to summon the minister.
Chief Felix Nhlanhlayemangwe is alleged to have soured his relationship with the government after pushing for Bulelani Khumalo’s installation as Ndebele king, which was viewed by the government, as promoting secession. The government blocked the installation through the courts.
In a letter dated April 30, the Local Government ministry wrote to the Matabeleland North provincial administrator, advising of the postponement.
“We regret to advice of the postponement of the official installation of Felix Nhlanhlayemangwe Ndiweni as substantive Chief Ndiweni. The installation was scheduled for May 10 and has been indefinitely postponed,” the letter read.
Revelations according to Chief Maduna are that this could be the fifth time the installation of Chief Ndiweni has been stalled under unclear circumstances.
On April 25, the Local Government ministry wrote to the provincial administrator advising that Chief Ndiweni’s installation would be on May 10 in Umguza district.
“Please be advised that Local Government Public Works and National Housing ministry [July Moyo] has approved the official installation of Felix Nhlanhlayemangwe Ndiweni of Umguza district as substantive Chief Ndiweni on May 10. Kindly inform the clan and commence preparations,” the letter read.
This was after the same office on March 20 wrote another letter to Matabeleland North Provincial Assembly of Chiefs chairperson advising that Chief Ndiweni propose two possible dates for his installation. Chief Ndiweni on March 22 proposed April 20 and 27 after liaising with the provincial assembly.
However, after all these processes and agreements have been reached, the government has made a U-turn postponing the installation indefinitely without giving reasons for the postponement amid concerns it was politically-motivated.