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Chief Masuku is installed

by Staff reporter
12 Jun 2022 at 08:29hrs | Views
THERE was pomp and grandeur yesterday in Matobo District, Matabeleland South Province as people came from far and wide to witness the installation of Mr Nkulumane Masuku as the substantive Chief Masuku, breathing spectacular new life into a chieftainship that had not had a leader since 2016.

Villagers came dressed to the nines for the regal occasion while dignitaries, including Government officials, senior civil servants, leaders of civil society and service chiefs, braved a chilly and windy morning, raising dust as they made their way to Intunzi Farm, a stone's throw away from Rhodes Matopos Dam, early yesterday.

For villagers, most of whom walked or hitch-hiked to the chief's homestead to witness the ceremony, the installation of Chief Masuku, the event was both a cause of celebration and relief, as they finally saw the appointment of a substantive leader to succeed the late Chief Malaki Nzula Masuku, who passed away in 2016.

Chief Malaki Masuku reigned from 1992 up until death.

The coronation of Chief Nkulumane Masuku came also as a relief to the Masuku family, as wrangles over the last few years seemingly threatened the stability of the chieftainship.

Speaking during the ceremony, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said the installation of Chief Masuku marked the birth of a new era.

"Nkulumane Masuku was officially appointed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr ED Mnangagwa with effect from 16 March 2022.

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr ED Mnangagwa

The Masuku Chieftainship throne has been vacant for six years, therefore today marks the celebration of a new era, giving the people of Matobo a new leader and an added pillar of strength," he said.

During a day in which poets and praise singers dazzled villagers with not only their words but also their impressive traditional outfits, Minister Moyo said that the installation of Chief Masuku showed the importance of respecting the institution of traditional leadership, itself a key component of governance in the country.

"It is events such as this one that remind us of the importance of preserving our culture and heritage, and what this symbolises in the broader context of development.

Our ideals and values are embedded in the historical lineage of chieftainships and we are here today to protect our heritage through the continuation of the Masuku leadership.

This is a celebration of our identity as the people of Zimbabwe and the manifestation of a wealth of experience being passed down from generation to generation.

"Traditional leaders are a key component in development as they nurture grassroots innovations in order to improve the quality of lives of their communities.

By being embedded in social relationships and networks, traditional leadership becomes one of the most effective community development tools, and that is why the Government of Zimbabwe ensures its continuity and support.

Traditional leaders are central to the governance of communities in Zimbabwe while working alongside Rural District Councils and other development partners."

With the picturesque hills of Matobo in the background, Minister Moyo said Chief Masuku was presiding over an area that was a key cog in the country's tourism sector.

"The Government has not limited the preservation of culture to the continuity of traditional leadership alone, but by also ensuring the sustainability of heritage sites, artworks and other tangible and intangible heritage.

An example of this is the Matobo Hills which are part of World Heritage Site and are known world-wide to be the seat of the gods and ancestors.

The sacred shrines within Matobo represent one of the most powerful intangible heritages in Southern Africa.

"The natural environment and the art of the rock paintings found in the district are rich archaeological evidence of generations that date back to the Stone Age period.

It is our communities that interact with such universally significant landscapes and as a result it is us and our leaders who bear the responsibility to ensure that generations to come respect this part of who we are and where we come from," he said.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Permanent Secretary Mrs Latiso Dlamini-Maseko, Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Abedinico Ncube said the installation of Chief Masuku was long overdue.

"We have been waiting for a long time for this day but we are grateful that the family has sat down and after four or five years have come with a name and that name is our Chief Nkulumane Masuku.

I will also like to thank the Chiefs that worked hard for this chief to be installed, if they had not intervened, they would still be disputes.

A place such as this should not go for so long without a traditional leader."

Speaking during the ceremony, Chief Nyangazonke also from Matobo District encouraged people to work hand in hand with Chief Masuku to develop the area.

Chief Nyangazonke was also effusive in his praise of historian Pathisa Nyathi, who gave a brief history of the Masuku chieftainship.

"I would like to thank Pathisa Nyathi who reminded us how old the institution of traditional leadership is.

It also showed us how powerful it is but it is powerful because of the people.

I would like you to use him, to work with him and not discriminate against each other," he said.

As dignitaries departed, song and dance continued into the evening, with the Masuku family promising several days of celebration, as they said the installation of a chief was not a one day event.

Source - The Sunday News