BY CHARLES LAITON
THE late former President Robert Mugabe has been posthumously sucked into the Ndanga chieftainship wrangle after the ex-President in 2017 installed Wilson Makono as Zaka district’s Chief Ndanga, defying advice from clan members.
Mugabe was dethroned exactly eight months after confirming Makono’s appointment as Chief Ndanga.
Clan head, Abias Chigwagwa said before Makono’s installation he petitioned Mugabe and then Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere after the local district administrator erroneously handpicked Makono for the chieftainship, but his pleas were ignored.
“Before and after his (Makono) appointment by the (then) President (Mugabe) himself as chief, based on the erroneous belief that due process of law had been followed; I tried to stop his installation and seek his removal from the position of chief by petitioning the President, writing to the (then) minister (Kasukuwere), as well as to the provincial assembly of chiefs to no avail,” Chigwagwa said in his affidavit.
After his advice was ignored, Chigwagwa then referred the matter to the High Court which recently gave current Local Government minister July Moyo, the provincial assembly of chiefs and national chiefs council a 30-day ultimatum to resolve the Ndanga chieftainship wrangle.
Justice Clement Phiri’s order came after Moyo, Masvingo provincial assembly of chiefs and the representatives of the national chiefs council failed to turn up in court despite being served with court papers.
“The respondents (Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing, provincial assembly of chiefs and the national council of chiefs) are hereby compelled to facilitate dispute resolution to the Ndanga chieftainship clan in terms of section 283 (a) (i) and (ii) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013 within a month of service of this order upon them,” Justice Phiri said.
In his founding affidavit, Chigwagwa submitted that he was the clan leader and responsible for submitting details of the suitable candidate for the chieftainship.
“The district administrator, however, chose and forwarded Wilson Makono’s name as the potential chief-to-be, acting on his own and not as submitted by myself, yet I am the head of the clan and family tree record keeper,” Chigwagwa said.
“In addition, the process done by the DA in appointing Wilson Makono as chief was improper since my family, as the custodian of the Ndanga chieftainship process, was not consulted or given an opportunity to have a say at the meeting.”
Chigwagwa added that Makono was not a member of the Ndanga clan and had no right to assume the chieftainship.