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Why the installation of a Ndebele King is rationally incontestable

02 Mar 2018 at 07:13hrs | Views
After 124 years since the dethronement of the last Ndebele king, Lobhengula Khumalo, there is bound to be opportunists who may want to take advantage of the vacuum as well as saboteurs who may be intent upon causing confusion and chaos just for the fun of it.

In the past few years since the monarch resuscitation tempo increased, some shadowy quarters shook and trembled in fear and anxiety as they threatened to block the move through the courts. Many others too who successfully defined themselves as enemies of the Ndebele people, used all manner of pseudo intellectual arguments to dissuade people from demanding their right to a cultural leadership. Others, considering themselves to be within a spitting distance from the crown, had their appetites whetted in anticipation of filling that vacuum themselves. In that regard several claimants sprouted up around the country and crowned themselves kings in empty venues or in their bedrooms. They were simply ignored. In the midst of that Prince Bulelani Lobhengula Khumalo has remained the only legitimate claimant and his coronation is set for the 3rd of March, 2018 in Bulawayo.

There are a couple of reasons I need to remind all who care to listen why the installation of the Ndebele King is rationally, legally, culturally and politically incontestable. When the country was colonised by the British Ndebele people lost the following aspects/assets:

1. Their national independence
2. Their ancestral lands
3. Nearly I million herd of cattle
4. Their kingdom

In 1896-7 they rose up in arms against their new rulers in collaboration with the Njelele shrine with an express objective to drive out the white invaders and install (mark my words) King Lobhengula's successor. Remember Njelele was originally a Lozwi Religious Shrine which eventually became a Mthwakazi national shrine enjoying recognition from both Kings Mzilikazi and Lobhengula. The shrine, which I'm reliably informed prophesied the arrival of the Nguni, accepted Nguni profitiation and gifts in cattle and agreed to stop accepting human sacrifice, also recognised the Ndebele kings. What is poignant is that after the disappearance of king Lobhengula the Njelele shrine never advocated for the revival of any pre-Ndebele kingdoms. The shrine recognised, collaborated with and agitated for the revival of the Ndebele King from the Khumalo lineage not any other. Had the uprising been successful the four above losses would have been reversed.

Even more critical is that between 1835 and 2015 none of the pre-Ndebele lineages made an attempt to resuscitate their defunct kingdoms; the Mambo Dynasty Trust only came into existence when it became clear that agitators for the revival of the Ndebele kingship meant serious business. They therefore qualify as saboteurs rather than legitimate claimants. Why should they always present themselves as Ndebele monarch marksmen? Who is using them in that cruel way?

The Khumalo, on their part, never stopped seeking justice for the recovery of the four aspects above even after the demise of the kingdom in 1893. The following sequence of events represents the continuous efforts to recover what was lost to colonial rule:

1. Between 1897 and 1920 Prince Nyamande fought legal battles with British authorities trying to restore Ndebele people's dignity.

2. Between 1920 and 1940s Prince Nguboyenja took the demand for the restoration of the Mthwakazi Kingdom to the British Privy Council. The judgement was obviusly passed in favour of the British Crown but what could one expect?

3. From the 1930s to the 1950s the Matabele Home Society vigorously pursued the restoration agenda until they were discouraged by nationalist politicians who preferred a more embracing national struggle for independence. They were promised that the issue will be corrected by national independence for all Africans in Rhodesia. That is the time when Highlanders Football Club was nationalised from being "Matabele Highlanders" to just Highlanders FC.

4. In 1997 when 5 chiefs namely Douglass Ngungumbane Mkhwanazi, Nyangazonke Ndiweni, Gampu Sithole, Chief Bango and Sivalo Mahlangu, met at Makhosi with Pathisa Nyathi, Mqondobanzi Nduna Magonya and Cont Mhlanga, they resolved to resuscitate the the Ndebele monarch. That marked the beginning of the annual King Mzilikazi Memorial Commemorations that have since become a major event in our Mthwakazi National calendar. These commemorations were meant to culminate in the identification and coronation of the Mthwakazi King. All these years where was the so called Mambo Dynasty Trust?

The war of liberation was fought to restore what was lost to white colonization. The Ndebele people are the only people who lost their kingdom to colonization. National independence under Zimbabwe has not restored it contrary to what had been promised by the nationalists in the 1950s. The rest of the other national groups either voluntarily dissolved their kingdoms well before the arrival of the Nguni or simply replaced them with other forms of authority. None of them can rationally claim to revive those institutions on the basis of having lost them to colonial rule.

Bayethe Bulelani kaLobhengula kaMzilikazi.

Source - George Mkhwanazi
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