A traditional leader in Binga, Matabeleland North has petitioned Local Government and Public Works minister July Moyo over a chieftainship row in the district.
In a letter dated May 11, directed to Moyo through his lawyer Dumisani Dube from Dube Legal Practice, Peter Mwembe told the minister that he was the rightful heir to the position of Chief Binga.
“Our client further advises that he is of the Tonga tribe in Zambezi Valley in Binga and that the Binga chieftaincy is a matriarchal one and the chieftaincy from the year 1900 when the Binga chieftaincy originated it lay with the Siakabuwa lineage,” his lawyer wrote.
His lawyer said problems started in 1994 when the late Gasta Siakulya claimed the chieftaincy.
“When Siakabuwa died, he was succeeded by Siazuza and when Siazuza died in 1939 he was succeeded by Shinkonkole and when Shinkonkole died in 1994 that is when problems started when the late Gasta Siakulya a Muleya, started claiming the chieftaincy,” he wrote.
“The late Gasta Siakulya used his connections and unscrupulous ways to deprive the rightful heir to Shinkonkole, Patrick Simankolyo of his right to chieftaincy and the said Gasta Siakulya Muleya was appointed chief in the year 2000.”
Siakulya passed away sometime in 2019.
“Upon the death of Gasta, he (Mwembe) made further representations at the district administrator’s office and other offices about his right to the chieftaincy in terms of the customs and traditions of the Tonga tribe.
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“His efforts have also been unfruitful,” the lawyer wrote.
“He is aware that the Matabeleland North Provincial Assembly of Chiefs met at the late Gasta Siakulya Muleya’s homestead to appoint a new chief and our client made efforts to make his representations, but he was not given an opportunity and the successor was chosen from Gasta Siakulya Muleya’s family which perpetuated the wrongful Chieftaincy depriving the Tonga people of their rightful chief in terms of their customs and traditions.”
The lawyer said Mwembe is reliably informed that Grey Sikalelu was chosen by the Provincial Assembly of Chiefs as the heir apparent.
“Neither Gasta Siakulya Muleya, nor Grey Sikalelu Muleya is in any way related to Siakabuwa, Siazuza or Chinkonkole and there is no way they could have been legitimately appointed as Chief Binga,” he noted.
“As per the family tree, Grey Sikalelu Muleya does not even exist and by virtue of that, Grey Sikalelu cannot be legitimately appointed as a chief and therefore he cannot be inaugurated," he said.
“Had the provincial assembly of chiefs considered his representations and the customary principles of succession of the Binga chieftainship in making the recommendations to the president, they would have found that our client is the rightful candidate for chieftaincy. “
He added that it was only the Siakabuwa lineage which has entitlement to chieftainship and Grey Sikalelu Muleya not being from the same lineage could not claim any right to the chieftaincy and should have never been appointed as such.
“Your office can assist in stopping this injustice and bring the matter to the Matabeleland North Provincial Assembly of Chiefs.”
The lawyers said Moyo is yet to respond to the letter.