July Moyo Who Mangled With Khayisa Chieftainship Claiming Some Unproven Tradition Pulls Out Of Chief Mvuthu Succession Wrangle After Family Snub
24 November 2020
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Chief Ndiweni

Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has said that he will no longer involve himself in the Chief Mvuthu succession wrangle indicating that the selection of a chief remains the prerogative of the royal family and traditional leaders something he deliberately refused from the Ndiweni Family when he fought to eliminate Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni last year.

Chief Mvuthu, born Nyangayezizwe Mlotshwa of Mvuthu area outside Victoria Falls died in March 2014 aged 61.

Since then, the Mlotshwa family has failed to choose a successor.

The family is divided with one faction in support of the late chief’s brother Mr Saunders Mlotshwa as the successor while others back his eldest daughter Silibaziso, now aged 24 saying she is being victimised just because she is a woman.

The late chief left behind three daughters and Silibaziso, now married, says she is the rightful heir to the throne.

The family nominated Mr Mlotshwa as the successor in December 2014 saying it is against the Ndebele culture for a woman to succeed her father as a chief but Silibaziso challenged that in court arguing that she is the one who should take over from her father.

Mr Mlotshwa is a son to the late chief’s brother Simon who is also late. The family said he is eligible to take over because his father was a chief.

Mvuthu villagers in 2018 formed an imbizo, a gathering of villagers from the same chieftaincy led by community elders to push the family to resolve the succession dispute.

They petitioned the Mlotshwa family and Government to urgently install a substantive chief saying the wrangle was retarding development in the community.

The family convened a meeting on September 28 this year following a High Court order which nullified the nomination of Mr Mlotshwa as a potential successor and ordered the Hwange District Development Coordinator (DDC)’s office to restart the selection process with respect to human rights.

Chief Sikhobokhobo of Nkayi chaired the September meeting at the late chief’s homestead on behalf of the Matabeleland North Provincial Chiefs’ Assembly but the gathering could not agree on one name.

Mlotshwa family spokesperson Dr Effie Mlotshwa-Sithole yesterday said the family stands by its choice.

She however could not be drawn into commenting further, saying the family was engaging relevant Government authorities on the issue.

Chief Sikhobokhobo could not be reached on his mobile phone.

Silibaziso has vowed to stand for her right and has refused to bow to the family’s plea for her to step down for her uncle.

Yesterday she referred questions to her lawyer Mr Thulani Ndlovu of Sansole and Senda Legal Practitioners who could not be reached for comment.

In an interview, Minister Moyo said Government will wait for recommendations from the Chiefs’ Council.

“The Constitution is very clear in Chapter 16 that we have to follow tradition and we will follow that process. I know that people are arguing about what traditions to follow and we as Government cannot dictate what tradition should be followed but we have structures that can resolve it.

“The family and provincial assembly of chiefs for Matabeleland North are the ones that must recommend what they think to the President. The recommendation will also be looked at by the national council of chiefs because we know that these are traditionalists.

“They will weigh the pros and cons of what to do and once the recommendation comes to us, we will forward to the President,” said Minister Moyo.