Report: Chief Ndiweni’s elder brother is the one who challenged him. Matabeleland North chiefs met in Bulawayo on Saturday at a local hotel and made that resolution. The Deputy President of the Chiefs Council, Chief Mtshane Khumalo confirmed the development yesterday.
He, however, said Chief Ndiweni, whose brother Joram Khayisa Thambo claims to be the rightful leader, remains as the chief until the matter is dealt with as stipulated by the country’s constitution.
The Matabeleland North Provincial Chiefs Assembly has recommended that the process of appointing Ntabazinduna chief be redone after a brother to the incumbent, Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni challenged his appointment.
“We recommended that the process must be redone after Chief Ndiweni’s brother Joram who is in London objected to his appointment. He wrote a letter to the district administrator in Umguza saying the process had not been procedural and there is a court case,” he said.
“We sat this Saturday and made a recommendation to the family that the process must be redone. It’s a process that must first be ratified by the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs and the Chiefs Council will make a resolution. He is still the chief, we made a recommendation and the National Chiefs Council may amend it, add or subtract.”
The chief said their meeting was guided by Section 283 of the Constitution which guides the appointment and removal of chiefs.
“The appointment, removal and suspension of chiefs must be done by the President on the recommendation of the provincial assembly of chiefs through the National Council of Chiefs and the Minister responsible for traditional leaders and in accordance with the traditional practices and traditions of the communities concerned.
“Disputes concerning the appointment, suspension and removal of traditional leaders must be resolved by the President on the recommendation of the provincial assembly of chiefs through the minister responsible for traditional affairs,” reads part of the Constitution.
In 2014, Joram filed an application at the High Court in Bulawayo seeking to block his brother Nhlanhla from being installed as substantive chief. There matter is still pending before the court.
In his application, Joram said the Ndiweni chieftainship was hereditary and Nhlanhla’s appointment was in violation of Nguni custom, practice and norms.
In his founding affidavit, Joram said following their father’s death in 2010, there was Nhlanhla’s “unlawful and unprecedented” appointment by then Local Government Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and the late ex-President Mugabe.
He said his family was of Nguni origin and he was the eldest son of the late chief, married with children, the eldest being 27-year-old Mhlambezi. Joram said his younger brother Nhlanhla was the 11th born in a family of 12 and his appointment is an abomination in Nguni custom and culture as well as untenable legally.
“No lawful impediment exists against my appointment, failure to which my eldest son Mhlambezi is alive and fit to assume the chieftainship. This is in accordance with our culture and customary traditions. It is not foul of any statute and does not offend our traditional systems. It is a system that has been in place for generations and generations and cannot be questioned by respondents today,” said Joram.
He added: “In terms of the Nguni custom, a chief is appointed once all customs and rites have been followed and in consultation with the clan of Nhlambabaloyi. The family and community members were not interviewed and that renders the process defective.
“In Nguni or Ndebele custom, chieftainship is hereditary. As the firstborn, if the applicant is not fit and proper then his firstborn son would take his place. The respondents’ actions collectively are null and void and must be set aside and the process restarted.”
Source – The Chronicle
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