Besides the directive by the Minister of Local Government blocking the coronation of Prince Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo as the King of the Ndebele people set for this weekend, Chiefs and traditional leaders in Matabeleland have vowed that the ceremony will go ahead as planned.
The chiefs said this in an impromptu meeting with members of the Western Region Civil Society held in Bulawayo on Thursday afternoon.
Represented by Chief Khulumani Mathema of Gwanda who is the Chairman of the Crown Council accompanied by Chief Nhlanhla Khayisa Ndiweni and Chief Ngwemnyama Mayenga Fuyane, the chiefs vowed that the region is not going back on the plans to install a king to regulate their functions.
“We are not accepting Minister July Moyo’s love letter blocking the coronation of our king,” said Chief Mathema.
“When we wrote to him we were not asking for his permission to have the event but were merely inviting him to attend.”
“He does not have the constitutional authority to block us from practising our culture the way we are meant to do it,” said Chief Mathema.
Mathema’s sentiments were echoed by Chief Khayisa Ndiweni who called on people from the region to come in their thousands on Saturday to witness the coronation of the king.
“Our people must come in their thousands as planned, the event is going ahead we are not going to be deterred from carrying out the responsibilities that our fathers tasked us to do,” said Chief Ndiweni.
The chiefs further indicated that they had been summoned to a meeting with the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Home Affairs to discuss the issue.
“We are going for the meeting and we want to assure you our people that we are not going to budge on this issue,” said Chief Ndiweni.
“Instead of blocking us, the Ministers will need to see how they are going to accommodate us and handle our issue,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Crown Council has made an urgent court application to the High Court seeking to nullify the Minister’s directive. The court will sit in Bulawayo on Friday afternoon to decide on the matter.