Why Chief Murinye Was Bashed By Villagers: Mavaza
30 June 2023
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Chief Murinye Assaulted Amidst Land Dispute with Mugabe Clan

By Dr. Masimba Mavaza | Masvingo, Zimbabwe – Chief Murinye, born Mukoma Ephius Munodawafa, was subjected to a violent attack during a funeral held on Wednesday, June 28. The incident took place at the funeral of Jairos Zindoga, the son of headman Zindoga, and has shed light on a longstanding land dispute between the Murinye and Mugabe clans. Chief Murinye, known for his outspokenness against corruption, believes that the assault was motivated by this land boundary conflict.

Masimba Mavaza

The attack on Chief Murinye occurred when he attended the funeral of Jairos Zindoga, where he was met with hostility from the Zindoga family, particularly the widow, Linda Mugaviri, who is a prominent CCC activist. Mugaviri has expressed a lack of respect for traditional leaders, viewing them as mere representatives of the president. Chief Murinye alleges that the incident was instigated by the Mugabe clan, with the aim of encroaching on his territory.

In his statement regarding the attack, Chief Murinye explained, “Yes, we were attacked by the in-laws of village head Zindoga and some from the Chikarudzo area. There are a lot of lies and conspiracy theories being said, but the truth of the matter is that we went there to stop them from burying their relative at a sacred place. We even gave them an alternative place, but they refused. People from the Mugabe area are behind this; they want to cause chaos and encroach into my area. This is my area, and no one from Mugabe has a right over it.”

Chief Mugabe, also known as Matubede Mudavanhu, denied the allegations and accused Chief Murinye of encroaching into his land. He expressed his disdain for Murinye, stating, “Murinye is the one who encroached into my land. He is supposed to vacate the area. He is insane. What happened at the funeral has nothing to do with me.”

The root cause of the conflict lies in a historical dispute over land ownership. The Murinye and Mugabe clans share a common ancestry, with Chief Mugabe being the third-born son of Chief Murinye. Chief Murinye assigned governance of certain areas to his sons, including Mugabe, who later donated land to missionaries, leading to his promotion to chief status. However, the present Chief Mugabe now seeks to claim jurisdiction over Boroma, a region governed and historically associated with the Murinye clan. By burying Zindoga in this disputed area, Mugabe’s actions were seen as a direct challenge to Chief Murinye’s authority.

The assault on Chief Murinye took place when he attempted to negotiate with the Zindoga family about the burial location. However, tensions escalated, and the chief was attacked by both men and women, managing to escape with the assistance of a few outnumbered police officers.

The institution of traditional leadership has played a significant role in the governance of Zimbabwean communities for centuries. However, during the colonial period, the powers of traditional leaders were eroded and corrupted by the colonial government. Today, traditional chiefs serve as dispute resolution personnel within their communities.

In light of the escalating conflict between Chief Murinye and Chief Mugabe, it is crucial for the two chiefs to seek arbitration through respected traditional leader Chief Charumbira. This would prevent further violence and allow for a fair resolution to the land dispute.

As Zimbabwe heads into election season, it is imperative that the culprits involved in the assault on Chief Murinye be held accountable. Chief

Murinye should pursue legal action against the Zindoga family and ensure that justice is served.

The incident serves as a reminder that respect must be fostered among leaders and their constituents. Leaders should strive to create communities built on trust and respect, while disputes and conflicts should be resolved through proper channels and not through violence.

Justice for our chiefs is essential in maintaining peace and stability within our communities.