BY LORRAINE MUROMO Government’s involvement in the selection of chiefs is complicating traditional modes of choosing leaders, creating fissures within royal families and communities, the latest being the succession of Chief Marange.
The selection of chiefs is the prerogative of royal families and traditional leaders, but lately the Local Government and Public Works ministry has been accused of interfering in the appointments.
The ministry came under the spotlight in the recent Chief Marange succession wrangle where two families (Dzoma and Makarara) are challenging the selection of Bernard Makangauta Murwira as the rightful heir to the throne.
However, the overseer of the appointment of chiefs within the Marange district George Farai Matiza (Chief Mutohonwa), distanced government from the Marange chieftaincy wrangle.
“Unfortunately, do our courts believe in our Zvipomerwa culture?,” Matiza asked.
“Our traditional chiefs’ councils must now audit succession or selection systems per chieftainship to avoid misguided aspirants making hopeless court appeals, blame apportion provincial chiefs’ councils and civil servants for imposing chiefs.”
In 2017, Zvidzai Dzoma Marange took the succession battle to the courts, arguing that Murwira was illegally appointed.
The incumbent was, according to Dzoma, not the people’s preferred candidate for the position.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
He stated that the people had chosen him, and not the incumbent, to be their chief.
But Matiza said Chief Marange was correctly chosen as the substantive chief
“On July 29, 2022 I handed over for substantive re-appointment by royal houses recommended candidate, sitting acting Chief Muchisi Makangauta Bernard Gandidzanwa Marange, to the provincial chiefs council presiding chairman Chief Mapungwana,” he said.
“No government men imposed the candidate on us.
“Funny enough only two houses namely, Dzoma and Makarara did not support the reappointment, but did not also support one of them. Worse still none of them is near (Hubaba) seniority by our tradition.”
Chiefs’ Council president Fortune Charumbira could not be reached for comment as he was said to be out of the country.