ZAKA – Four of the five houses with a legitimate claim to the Nhema chieftainship have vowed to continue fighting the chieftaincy of Rangarirai Bwawanda, saying somebody else from their respective houses should have taken the position.
Bwawanda, who is from the Tavengegwei family, became chief in an acting capacity following the death of his father Bwawanda Matande in 2005. In 2010, he was crowned substantive chief with the blessings of the government.
The disgruntled families; Toiseyo, Zishiri, Matsika and Masikati are however challenging Bwawanda's appointment, arguing that traditional customs of rotating the throne among all eligible families were disregarded, and the chieftainship moved from father to son.
"When Ranga's father passed on, the chieftainship was supposed to go to another house as per our agreement as the Nhema clan. However, we were not even consulted when he was crowned substantive chief after acting in that capacity for five years," said Felix Mbwende, a member of the Toiseyo family.
The houses accuse former Local Government minister, Ignatius Chombo, of imposing Bwawanda without all families.
They said when Abednico Ncube's now disbanded Rural Development ministry took over affairs of traditional leadership affairs from the Local Government ministry in 2015, he accepted their complaints and forwarded them to the provincial chief's council.
A delegation from Toiseyo represented by Mbwende, Zishiri represented by Cephas Zishiri, Matsika represented by Kennedy Nhema and Masikati represented by Taurai Masikati visited the Provincial Administrator (PA)'s office on Monday this week to do a follow up on their complaints.
The four complained that the provincial chief's council did not make an effort to resolve the matter ostensibly due to financial problems.
"The Council said it had no money to travel but surprisingly, there are other cases that came after ours and they were settled. We are appealing to the council to settle the matter before it tears the family apart," said Mbwende.local