By Paul Nyathi
Bulawayo popularly known as The City of Kings will this weekend come to a standstill as thousands of people from across Matabeleland region are expected to descend in the city to witness the crowning of the first Ndebele King since 1893.
Crown Prince Bulelani Collins Lobengula Khumalo will be unveiled and crowned at a ceremony to be held at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday to take over the reigns from Lobengula Khumalo who was the last King of the Ndebele people in 1893.
Spokesperson for the organisers of the ceremony, Effie Ncube told ZimEye.com that everything is set for the ceremony.
“Despite attempts to undermine the coronation of the first legitimate King since 1893, we are ready to proceed on 3 March 2018. This a day millions of our people are looking to as a defining moment for the country,” said Ncube.
Prince Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo a soldier in the South African Defence Forces who was born and bred amongst the Xhosa people of the Northern Cape in South Africa will be crowned as King of the Ndebele by his Xhosa king from South Africa.
Meanwhile, a section of Matabeleland people of the Kalanga clan under the banner of Mambo Kingdom Revival have warned that they will be going to court to block the coronation of Khumalo taking place claimimg that the Mthwakazi territory he is going to administer is originally their territory.
Ncube dismissed the court challenge claiming that the Mambo dynasty have a right to have their own king without inferring with the Ndebele king.
“We have not received any court interdict but if we do we will dispose of it and move on. No one has a case against us,” he said.
“Every people have a constitutional right to practise their culture the way they see fit. We have not interfered with the processes of others. The king we are crowning will not be imposed on anyone. Freedom of choice is completely guaranteed.”
“Those who don’t want our king are free to have their King. We are a multi cultural society even in Matebeleland so that on our part we have no problem having 100 kings in Matebeleland alone. What wrong with that? What is unacceptable is for some people to try and stop the rights of others. If you want Mambo you are free to have him. If you want Munhumutapa you can have him,” said Ncube.
The coronation day is expected to be a hive of entrainment with musicians and traditional dancers from the region providing entrainment. The day will close off with a King’s Cup soccer challenge between Highlanders and Bulawayo City.
Over 50 cattle have already been brought up for slaughter and at least 20 000 litres of traditional beer is guaranteed to be consumed on the day.