‘DNA tests will resolve Ndebele kingship wrangle’

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Ndebele kingship, Stanley Raphael Tshuma Khumalo,

BY SILAS NKALA
ONE of the claimants to the Ndebele kingship, Stanley Raphael Tshuma Khumalo, has challenged other contestants to a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test to determine genuine heirs to the throne.

All the four claimants to the throne, Tshuma, Bulelani Collins, Peter Zwide, and Mcijwana, are from the Khumalo clan.

Tshuma and South Africa-based Bulelani were installed in 2018 at private ceremonies in Bulawayo after government blocked their public coronation.

Speaking during a virtual discussion organised by Nkayi Community Parliament, Tshuma’s spokesperson Greater Sibanda said only DNA tests would resolve the kingship wrangle.

“Zwide says he is from the Nyamande house of Lobengula, claiming that the last king was Nyamande though he was not recognised by whites, but he was crowned. Tshuma claims to be from Hlangabeza, who was killed by King Lobengula because Lobengula feared that he would claim the throne of his brother Nkulumane,” Sibanda said.

“Tshuma says his great grandfather, Khuhlumba, ran away when his father Hlangabeza was killed, to hide at one old woman called Bahanga Tshuma’s home, where he stayed and became a Tshuma. In 2002, while in England, he said there was a loud voice which ordered him to come back home to take the throne.

“Mcijwana also said he is the heir. Bulelani was also chosen by the Khumalos. Since the throne is fought for,  and we have four people claiming it, we have our traditional way of proving and modern-day approach. Since all claim to be heirs, the only way to deal with this is a DNA test. Mzilikazi is lying in his grave there. From there, we use our traditional methods to solve this problem.”

There has been a push for the revival of the Ndebele monarch.

But government has described the move as unconstitutional.

Lobengula was the last Ndebele king after the British Pioneer Column led by Cecil John Rhodes destroyed the Ndebele kingdom in 1893-94.

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