A PROTRACTED territorial wrangle pitting Chief Neromwe (Clemence Madzingo) and Chief Tshovani (Hlausi Mundau) has finally been put to rest after Chiredzi magistrate Rodgers Mawarire ruled in favour of Neromwe last Friday.
BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
The dispute had raged on since Chief Neromwe was installed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in July last year.
He dragged Tshovani to court seeking a peace order barring him from holding meetings in an area which used to be under his jurisdiction.
Chief Tshovani, through his lawyer Vonani Majoko, was in turn challenging the legality of Neromwe chieftainship, arguing that the disputed areas falls under the resettlement area and is yet to be gazetted to determine the land ownership.
Magistrate Mawarire ruled that Chief Neromwe has the legal right to preside over wards 17, 26, 27 and 28 and ordered Chief Tshovani not to undermine the authority of the President by entering Neromwe’s area of jurisdiction.
In November last year, Chief Tshovani’s subjects staged a demonstration at Chiredzi Magistrates Court, accusing Chiredzi West MP Farai Musikavanhu and the then Chiredzi district development co-ordinator, Ndeya Nyede, of aiding Neromwe to wrest a large chunk of their territory.
Tshovani has since sued President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the matter, and the case is pending at the High Court.
“There is no mala fide or ulterior motive behind the installation of Neromwe,” said Magistrate Mawarire while delivering his judgement.
He then ordered Tshovani to pay Neromwe the costs he incurred during the legal battle in a bid to defend his rights.
The feud between the two chieftainships began when government decided to revive the Neromwe chieftainship which was removed by white settlers during the colonial era.
Tshovani, however, was not happy with the decision. Chief Serima of Gutu, Chief Nemauzhe of Chivi and Chief Maranda of Mwenezi adjudicated the arguments for and against the revival of Neromwe in 2017, while Nyede gave guidelines.
Former Zvimba councillor Madzingo (Zanu PF) was then selected the inaugural chief of the revived Neromwe throne and was given custody of wards 17, 26, 28 and 29, while Chief Tshovani was left with only three.
Magistrate Mawarire said after reviewing the President’s decision to install Madzingo as Chief Neromwe, he found that it was in line with history, languages of the set up and customary law.
However, a dejected Chief Tshovani said he was going to appeal at the High Court.