Gokwe chieftainship row not urgent: High Court

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

THE Gokwe chieftainship row has been removed from the High Court urgent roll after Justice Amy Tsunga said it was not an urgent matter.

One of the complainants, Martin Masuka had approached the High Court seeking the removal of Mafioni Rikonda as Chief Masuka.

Masuka argued that he was the heir apparent according to the royal lineage.

In the joint urgent chamber application filed at the High Court by Masuka, Rikonda, Nemaringa and Gwenjera houses, they argued that Rikonda’s appointment as chief was illegal.

They wanted his appointment reversed, arguing that it contravened section 283(c) (Amendment No 20 of 2013) of the Constitution, which stipulates that an Act of Parliament must provide for the appointment, suspension, succession and removal of traditional leaders.

But Justice Tsanga ruled that the matter was not urgent.

“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered that the matter is not urgent and is removed from urgent roll for pursuance on ordinary roll,” Tsanga ruled.

Rikonda had been cited as the first respondent, while Local Government minister July Moyo and President Emmerson Mnangagwa were second and third respondents, respectively.

Masuka submitted that Rikonda was not eligible for appointment as Chief Masuka according to the “prevailing traditional practices and traditions”’ of the Masuka clan as he is not from the permissible senior generation of ‘fathers’ of the Rikonda house.”

Court papers stated that the tradition of the Masuka clan demands that the eldest surviving person from the royal family should take up the chieftainship.

“The advent of the second republic ushered in an enhanced commitment to the re-establishment of our substantive chiefdom in Gokwe South.

“The Council of Chiefs was subsequently ordered to determine which house in the Masuka tribe was due to be installed, in continuation from where the chieftainship was terminated to “headman”.

“Subsequently, a determination was made that it is the Rikonda house which is the second applicant in this case.

“Communication was done to us, to the effect that Rikonda house is the royal house from which the substantive chief of the Masuka people is to be installed and a directive was issued to the second applicant, Rikonda family to resolve the question of who must be installed and nominate one person for appointment as chief of the Masuka people, Gokwe South,” read the court papers.

The applicants also want a meeting for the provincial assembly of chiefs convened urgently to review the matter, adding that the appointment of Rikonda by the President was based on misrepresentations.

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