Chief Sigola of Umzingwane, Matabeleland South dies The late Chief Zephania Sigola

Sikhumbuzo Moyo [email protected]

ONE of the oldest traditional leaders in the country, Chief Zephania Sigola from Umzingwane district in Matabeleland South has died.

He was 96.

The Deputy President of the Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council, Chief Mtshana Khumalo confirmed the chief’s death.

Chief Sigola who had been unwell for some time, died yesterday morning.

“We got a message from the Chiefs Council President Chief Fortune Charumbira that at around 10AM this morning, Chief Sigola breathed his last. We are devastated as a region because he was a fountain of knowledge, he was someone that we could approach for advice. A huge gap has been left by his passing on,” said Chief Khumalo.

Last year in May, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Marian Chombo paid a courtesy call on the traditional leader at his Esiphezini farm village where she announced that Government would be rehabilitating the road leading to the farmhouse.

Deputy Minister Chombo also announced during the visit that the Second Republic would, from then on, provide foreign currency allowances, fuel coupons per month, airtime as well as medical aid to the chiefs across the country.

On the day, Deputy Minister Chombo also announced that Government would service chiefs’ service cars.

Chief Fortune Charumbira

Umzingwane district development coordinator Mr Peter Mahlathini said they are waiting for more details from the family on burial arrangements.

“We will stand guided by the family, right now I am driving to the family homestead. It’s a huge loss to the district,” said Mr Mahlathini.

In a speech during the installation of Mr Dambisamahubo Mafu as Chief Maduna at Dekezi High School in Filabusi, Insiza District, Matabeleland South province last month, President Mnangagwa said traditional leaders are a vital cog and a key institutional component whose role in driving development through implementation of Government programmes and preserving identity should be honoured.

President Mnangagwa

The President said it is through traditional leaders that the Government is brought closer to communities, to make it more accessible, responsive and accountable.

President Mnangagwa also urged Government, society and development agencies, inclusive of rural district councils, to work closely with traditional leaders in identifying and nurturing programmes that could sustain people’s lives in various communities.

He added that his Government was going to continue being responsive to the needs of the traditional leadership institution.

“To this end, communities, families, churches and schools are urged to be at the forefront in our quest for the restoration, preservation and protection of our social, cultural and moral fibre and regain the pride of our great country, Zimbabwe,” he said. — @skhumoyo2000

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