Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
CHIEF Tshovani of Chiredzi district has taken Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo and the president of the National Council of Chiefs, Senator Fortune Charumbira, to court challenging the “unlawful” appointment of another chief in his area of jurisdiction.
Mr Hlaisi Mundau, who is Chief Tshovani, through his lawyers Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners, has filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court, citing Minister Moyo, Chief Charumbira, the Attorney-General Prince Machaya, Senator Chief Chitanga and Mr Clement Madzingo, as respondents.
Mr Mundau is seeking an order interdicting the respondents from sanctioning the appointment of Mr Madzingo as Chief Neromwe pending his court application under HC2964/17 in which he is challenging the resuscitation of the Neromwe chieftainship.
Mr Mundau said he was not consulted over the matter despite the fact that the area for the proposed Chief Neromwe falls under his jurisdiction.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Mundau said he has been sidelined by the Senator Chief Chitanga in the process.
“By this application I seek an order that the respondents be interdicted from treating or holding out fourth respondent (Mr Madzingo) as a duly appointed traditional leader and Chief Neromwe pending the final determination of an application in case number HC2964/17, which is still pending. This application is made on the basis that the institution of traditional leadership is provided for in terms of the constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Mundau argued that the Traditional Leaders Act, whose functions were assigned to Chief Charumbira, is deficient and not aligned to the constitution in respect of the creation and resuscitation of chieftainships.
“The Traditional Leaders Act, in its current form, does not provide for the resuscitation and creation of chieftainships,” he said.
In December 2014, an investigative team called a meeting to gather information on the history and views on the Neromwe chieftainship. Mr Mundau said the report by the investigative committee was inaccurate and distorted.
“My interest arises from the fact that the area the Neromwe people seek to have chieftainship over is an area historically under Chief Tshovani. I have only just become aware that a report was prepared in March 2015 and it recommended that the Neromwe chieftainship be resuscitated over Wards 17, 26 and 29, which are presently under my jurisdiction and historically under Chief Tshovani,” he said.
Mr Mundau said all the processes that led to the recommendation for the resuscitation of the Neromwe chieftainship were fundamentally flawed.
In terms of Section 283 of the Constitution, the President appoints chiefs on recommendations of the provincial assembly of chiefs through the National Council of Chiefs and the Minister responsible for traditional leaders in accordance with the traditional practices and traditions of communities concerned.—@mashnets.