Chief Nhema embroiled in Mkanganwi chieftainship row

A fierce wrangle has erupted over the Mkanganwi chieftainship, with retired Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze accusing Rangarirai Bwawanda, the current Chief Nhema, of receiving kickbacks to influence the appointment of a rival to replace Alfios Njodzi Chinamho, who died last year.

By Garikai Mafirakureva

The Mkanganwi clan is made up of three main families, namely Funhiro, Mushanduri and Chiumburu.

Initially, the Chiumburu sub-families, namely Pambwei, Ruzhou, Chapwanya and Kufakunesu — where Mashingaidze hails from — had unanimously agreed that the former soldier was the suitable candidate for chieftainship before a Chapwanya family member wrote to the Provincial Chief’s Council to argue otherwise.

“I am the legitimate candidate for the chieftainship. The arguments that I do not qualify are being made by some people who do not know the family history.

“The situation is exacerbated by corrupt people like Chief Nhema. I am told he was given a beast to meddle with the Mkanganwi chieftainship. I am definitely going to report him to Zacc (Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission),” Mashingaidze said.

“How can we move on as a nation if we still have corrupt elements like Chief Nhema in our midst? Even President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to fight corruption, so how can we let these corrupt activities continue unabated?”

The vocal soldier once clashed with the former University of Zimbabwe senior lecturer in the department of linguistics, now the media centre manager at Solusi University, Professor Kumbirai Gumokumo Mkanganwi, whom he described as an impostor after he briefly took over the chieftainship.

However, Chief Nhema dismissed the allegations as reckless talk.

“I don’t see any problem on the Mkanganwi issue except that they should resolve their problem as a family. I don’t think this mudslinging will help the matter in any way,”he said.

“I know I am innocent, and I am prepared to face the graft body because I never received anything from the grieving parties as alleged. I want this issue to be resolved amicably. That is why I referred it to the provincial assembly.”

The provincial assembly meeting, which was supposed to be held last week, is said to have been postponed to November 12, 2018 because Chief’s Council president Fortune Charumbira is in Rwanda, where he is attending Africa Parliament, while Chief Chitanga (Felani Chauke) was in Victoria Falls on official business.

The Mkanganwi chieftainship dispute remains unresolved, as the family, which is supposed to lead, cannot agree on who should succeed.

The Chapwanya family, led by Charles Chapwanya, is arguing that the Kufakunesu family cannot take over the throne for the second time when other families have not yet had their turn.

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