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Ndebele King installation and kingdom restoration at a defining moment

25 Jun 2017 at 22:10hrs | Views
Over the years Mthwakazi people have yearned for their King and Kingdom, with respect they informed the Khumalo Royal house of the need to revive the kingdom and present to the people an heir to the throne. For a very long time the people's cries seemed to fall on deaf ears, however, recently, the Khumalos promised that by 2016 a King would be presented to the people but 2016 came and went without any installation of a King. To ameliorate people's fears and anger the Khumalos poured oil over troubled waters by promising that 2017 is actual the year when the heir apparent will be presented to the masses.

Little did people know that 2016 was to produce an earth shuttering event which would turn the tables upside down. Entered the little-known Stanley Raphael Khumalo into the fray in 2016 and he turned everything upside down. He declared himself the God chosen King for the Mthwakazi Kingdom, he did not mince his words, he did not fence-sit he was straight to the point and on point as far as Mthwakazi aspirations are concerned. He spoke of restoration of the Kingdom as it was before 4th November 1893.  He began his crusade by revoking the Matebeleland Order in Council and revoked all the agreements made by Mugabe and Government of Zimbabwe on behalf of Mthwakazi. He quickly endeared himself in the hearts of the people, however, others still dismissed him off hand. He tried to convene a big a first meeting which did not go well; however, he quickly retreated and re-strategised and started visiting people in the communities, this strategy proved popular and effective as the gatherings became bigger and bigger. Now without any doubt he is ready to call a big gathering.

All along the expectations of the majority were that the Mthwakazi king was going to emerge from the King Lobhengula Khumalo's household, the basis for this has been that King Lobhengula was the last Mthwakazi King. However, it has proven not to be as straightforward and simple as that, some argue that the rightful King should emerge from the off-spring of Nkulumane as he was originally the apparent heir to the throne. The recent discovery of Nkulumane's grave and his family in Bafokeng, in South Africa complicated the succession issue. Some still argue that the right household to ascend the throne is Hlangabeza's as he was the second in line to the throne. All these arguments are public and the enemy knows them.  This is the factor which has always been lurking around and the most dangerous of them all. If the Khumalos are not careful the enemy will exploit these differences to the fullest, we all know that the enemy is not happy with the attempts to revive the Ndebele kingdom. If not properly handled this issue of a king will derail the restoration cause, all the gains of the years of painstaking hard work will be thrown to the dogs.
The Mthwakazi kaMzilikazi Cultural association has distanced itself from Stanley Khumalo and has said that the rightful King will emerge from the King Lobhengula's household. What raises the eyebrows is that they used the Sunday News to tell their story. What is even more alarming being that they categorically said that the kind of restoration they are looking for should be subservient to the Zimbabwean state. This is not what the majority of Mthwakazi want. Most people just want a clear break from the Zimbabwean state. They have accused Stanley of being a secessionist, secession in Zimbabwe amounts to treason, however, restoration does not. We all know that Stanley advocates restoration. One wonders what was the aim of ukuceba uStanley kuMgabe?

From where I stand it is clear soon Mthwakazi will have two Kings, one on the people's side and the other on Zimbabwe's side. It would be na├»ve to even countenance a thought that the one on Mugabe's side will not have any support, of course it will, its advantage will be that it will be fully funded to move quickly and entrench itself.  

Arguments against Stanley assuming kingship:
Some feel that Stanley is not a Khumalo enough, this is because he grew up using the surname Tshuma. According to Stanley, when Lobhengula took over the kingship after the civil war, King Lobhengula started purging those who had a right to the throne, this affected Stanley's great grandfather who had to run away and hid amongst the Kalanga people. This is one of the positive things about Stanley as he is readily acceptable within the Kalanga people. They know that Stanley understands them, their culture, and aspirations. Some argue that even if Stanley was a Khumalo, he would not be acceptable in their eyes because he did not follow the due process of king installation. They say he self-coronated himself. They say this is against the Mthwakazi culture. Looking back to the past to illuminate our present, we find that the issue of kingship is never a straight issue, most of the times the set norms are not followed. For example, Sigujana was supposed to take over from Senzangakhona, however, Shaka eliminated him and took over; in turn Dingane with the help of Mhlangana eliminated Shaka and Dingane took over. Closer home, Nkulumana was supposed to take over, but did not as the search team never located his whereabouts. By right Hlangabeza was then supposed to take over but we know that Mncumbatha preferred Lobhengula. Those who cry for traditions and set norms for installing a king fail to appraise the past.

The complications and what will happen.
Stanley Khumalo has announced in a press statement in Bulawayo that in July this year he will be officially coronated as Mthwakazi king. The Khumalos have also announced that in September this year a king from Lobhengula's lineage will be presented to the nation. Now here lies the dilemma, in October this year we may have two centres of power in Mthwakazi. The risks for internal strife are high, it is likely that a conflict between the Raphael and the Khumalos will ensue. If not properly and carefully handled many people may die. Worse still the restoration process may be derailed to the chagrin of many people.

As is right now, Stanley has an upper hand over the Khumalos. He emerged first. Secondly and most importantly, he is advocating for full Mthwakazi restoration not just a king which will be for ceremonies and culture. Any king which will emerge but not espouse the Mthwakazi aspirations as espoused by Stanley will not be acceptable to the masses, regardless of due process and traditions being followed. Mthwakazi want a fully recovered and restored state of Mthwakazi with its full sovereignty and independence. A puppet king will not be acceptable. A king without a country will not be acceptable.

Yinsindabaphenduli lendaba, ingwijikhwebu yoqobo. Siyoyizekela amagwababa echobana. Yiphi ezogoba uphondo? Azingeke zibhonge sibaya sinye.

Source - Thulani Nkala
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