Chirumanzu chieftainship takes new twist

The battle for the Chirumanzu chieftainship started after the death of Chief Gerald Mudzengi in February 2019.

The Chirumanzu chieftainship wrangle has taken yet another twist after the royal family filed an urgent High Court application seeking to halt the process that saw Albert Nyamande Muzondo being appointed the substantive chief.

On June 6, the Midlands provincial chiefs council appointed Muzondo of Mutizirapi house as substantive chief ahead of Julius Chimbi Chigegwe of Nherera house, who says he is the heir to the throne.

But the Chirumanzu chieftainship royal families represented by their chairperson Alois Rutunga filed an application for an interdict at the Masvingo High Court last week challenging the appointment.

They are represented by  lawyers Ruvengo Maboke and Company.

They cited the Midlands provincial chiefs’ assembly, Maria Muzenda, a Local Government ministry administrator as well as Muzondo who was appointed substantive Chief Chirumanzu as the respondents.

They argued that  Muzondo’s appointment must be deemed unlawful

“Wherefore applicant prays that the court declare the nomination of third respondent (Nyamande Muzondo) as a candidate to be substantive Chief Chirumanzu unlawful, null and void,” the royal family argued.

“Further that the selection process thereof be reconvened and be done in a fair manner thereto before the final recommendations have been made to the president through the minister responsible for appointment of substantive Chief Chirumanzu.

“The first and second respondents during the meeting (selection of substantive chief held in Mvuma on June 6) (allegedly) unilaterally declared while addressing the members gathered that the candidate nominee should come from Simba sub-house as if they were part of the family members upon which the candidate was to be chosen from.”

The Chieftainship Royal Family also submitted that Muzenda as administrator from the Local Government ministry gave "incorrect" and "distorted" information at the meeting about how the Chirumanzu chieftainship rotates on the two sub-houses of Mutizirapi and Nherera.

“As a result the respondents did not give a chance to the applicant to fully explain the history of Chirumanzu chieftainship nor to present the selected nominee candidate applicant had (already chosen) as a clan,” they submitted.

“This was despite the fact that applicant members protested that they already had the name of the preferred candidate and had minutes and other documents supporting the selection of the candidate (Julius Chimbi Chigegwe) that was done way back in 2021 after the death of (then) substantive Chief (Mudzengi).”

The battle for the Chirumanzu chieftainship started after the death of Chief Gerald Mudzengi in February 2019.

Before the recent appointment of Muzondo as substantive chief, Gerald's son, Fidelis was acting in that capacity, but Chigegwe has maintained he is the next heir to the chieftainship.

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