Local Government minister July Moyo has said the coronation of Ndebele King Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo is illegal, as there is no provision for a king in Zimbabwe’s Constitution.
Speaking in the Senate last week, Moyo said only chiefs were recognised in the new Constitution.
This comes as High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese recently dismissed the urgent application by South Africa-based Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo, who wanted to be installed king, ruling that it was illegal to do so under the Zimbabwean Constitution.
“Together, we enacted a new Constitution. The chiefs were participants in that Constitution making process. In our Constitution, it is very clear that the traditional leaders as defined in the Constitution are in three parts only, the first one is a chief, in Shona ndi mambo, in Ndebele Induna but in our Constitution it is the chief. Then there is a headman and there is a village head. So, when people who wanted to have a king wrote to us, we advised that in our Constitution we have no provision for a King.
“Fortunately, for us as Zimbabweans, when South Africans were making their Constitution we participated in many ways and they put in their Constitution that they will have kings who are in their localities. We do not have that in Zimbabwe.
“So, our advice was that we cannot have a king when it is not provided for by law…That is what the Constitution says.”
Meanwhile, MDC-T president Nelson Chamisa blamed government for frustrating the cultural rights of those pushing for the revival of the Ndebele kingdom.
Addressing an MDC Alliance rally in Dete, Matabeleland North province, Chamisa blasted the government for blocking the coronation of Bulelani Khumalo as the Ndebele king. The last Ndebele King was Lobengula following the destruction of the Ndebele kingdom by the British Pioneer Column in 1893.
“What is the problem? Let us allow the king to be put in place. It’s all about a people’s culture and tradition,” he said.
“Our cultures and traditions have to be respected, and that way we are going to be stronger as a nation, Chamisa thundered