Chirumanzu elders demand substantive chief


CHIRUMANZU elders have called for the urgent installation of a substantive chief, saying acting traditional leader Fidelis Mudzengi had failed to adhere to cultural practices on the issue.

This week, the Chirumanzu clan elders wrote to the Midlands provincial chief’s council chairperson, Chief Ngungumbane, seeking his intervention.

“The acting Chief Fidelis Mudzengi over the last two years abandoned the long tradition of Chirumanzu elders being custodians of traditions and culture of the VaMhanzu people in all traditional ceremonies, rituals and promotion of traditional lives, and later on registered a trust under the name Chirumanzu Chieftainship Development Trust,” the letter dated November 14 read.

“We, therefore, ask for urgent help from you as the chairperson of the Midlands provincial chiefs’ council to help restore order by allowing us as elders of Chirumanzu to have a substantive chief installed as a matter of urgency."

According to the elders, the founders of the trust chaired by one Cuthbert Chilimanzi do not represent the Chirumanzu chieftainship.

“People are dying, government programmes cannot operate in several areas due to double appointments of unofficial traditional leaders, violence and threats of violence are rampant,” added the elders.

Strenuous efforts to contact Mudzengi were fruitless as he was not answering his mobile phone.

He also did not respond to a WhatsApp message sent to him.

In August last year, the elders made an urgent High Court chamber application challenging the establishment of the trust. The matter is still pending.

The battle for the Chirumanzu chieftainship started following the death of Chief Jerald Mudzengi in February 2019.

Fidelis, son to the late Mudzengi, has been acting chief since then, and has reportedly —after his acting term ended in February last year — refused to hand over power to the next heir, one Julius Chimbi Chigegwe.

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