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Chief Ndiweni's saga divides Matabeleland

by Mandla Ndlovu
19 Nov 2019 at 15:17hrs | Views
The case of Nhlambabaloyi Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni has sharply divided Matabeleand activists over ethnic lines.

Kalanga Cultural activist Divine Dube posted on Facebook saying, "We have always maintained that Ndebeles are Ndebeles; Kalangas are Kalangas; Tongas are Tongas; Vendas are Vendas etc. And we've been told: No, everyone in Matabeleland is Ndebele or nothing.

"It's ironic that today Tongas are pummeled for being less Ndebele or not being Ndebele at all. AmaTonga angenaphi endabeni zamaNdebele? so they ask!"

Dube said for a long time he has insisted that all tribes are independent and not under Ndebele Kingdom.  

"Lamuhla selisithi amaTonga kawasiwo maNdebele! When we told you that each tribe within Matabeleland must have its autonomy you accused us of being divisive — or to be blunt, dividing Matabeleland. Now who is dividing the region and falling for the enemy's divide and rule strategy?"

Civil Society practitioner Leslie Phiri questioned why Tonga people would seek to remove a Nguni Chief.

"Kanti why was motion to suspend Chief Ndiweni moved by Binga chiefs? How much of Ndebele chieftaincy do they know? Just how do non Nguni Chiefs start being fundis in Nguni culture?

Veteran opposition member George Mkhwananzi explained how a Chief is selected in the Ndebele culture and that the Binga Chiefs outnumbered the Ndebele ones because there are Chiefdoms that have vacant positions.

"In Ndebele culture succession to traditional leadership is not necessarily decided on the basis of seniority of age as is the case with other African cultures in Zimbabwe. Many things are taken into consideration such as leadership aptitude, sanity, mother's seniority, mental balance and personal conduct.

The Binga chiefs insist that Chief Nhlanhla Ndiweni is not a first born in his  family yet the Ndiweni family nominated him ahead of his brother based on a well considered criteria. Binga which has 18 chiefs from the Tonga population of about 100 000 in Matabeleland North, outvoted the fewer Ndebele speaking chiefs in Matabeleland North who represent a population of over 600 000. Although Tsholotsho has 6 chiefs, Nkayi 6, Lupane 2, Bubi 4 and Hwange 1 Ndebele chief, most of the Ndebele chiefs are late and still need to be replaced. The Tonga and Nambya chiefs outnumber Ndebele chiefs in Matabeleland North in a demographically disproportionate ratio."

Source - Byo24News