THE Government has said the “coronation” of a new Ndebele “king” is a cultural event that has little significance in the governance of the country.
The Khumalo family defied a High Court order and installed South Africa-based Mr Bulelani Colin Lobengula Khumalo as the new Ndebele “king” at Mhlahlandlela on the outskirts of Bulawayo last Saturday.
Mr Bulelani Khumalo was initially set to be installed in March this year during a traditional ceremony scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium but the ceremony was stopped after another claimant to the throne, Mr Peter Zwide-Kalanga Khumalo, secured a High Court interdict blocking the event.
In an interview yesterday, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo, said Government had nothing to do with the coronation of the new “king”.
“It’s just a cultural ceremony that they did. We have nothing to do with it. Our Constitution does not recognise a king or queen. It has a chief, head man or kraal head,” he said.
Cde Moyo could not be drawn into saying what action Government would take against the Khumalo clan for defying a court order barring the installation of a king.
“As of now we don’t know what they did. When we are in the know of their ambition, we will react,” he said.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Mr Peter Zwide KaLanga Khumalo, said he could not speak on the matter since it was before the courts.
During Saturday’s ceremony, which was organised in secret and attended by a handful of people, Ntabazinduna Chief Felix Nhlanhlayemangwe Khayisa Ndiweni declared Mr Bulelani Khumalo as the official monarch of the five houses of the Khumalo.
In March, the initial coronation of the king was stopped after Mr Zwide Khumalo approached the High Court challenging the planned coronation of his South Africa-based rival Mr Bulelani Khumalo in Bulawayo.
Zwide had earlier declared himself King Nyamande Lobengula II.
In an urgent chamber application filed at the Bulawayo High Court, Zwide cited Chief Mathema in his capacity as the chairperson of the Royal Crown Trust, Bulelani and the Royal Crown Trust, as respondents.
Zwide, through his lawyers Ncube Attorneys, said the intended coronation of Bulelani was necessitated by an unlawful process put in motion by the respondents.
In his founding affidavit, Zwide said no one succeeded King Nyamande hence the Ndebele people remained without a king for a long time.
He said he qualified to ascend the Ndebele throne after he was chosen following a series of meetings which were attended by representatives of King Lobengula’s various houses.
Minister Moyo, in a letter addressed to one of the organisers, Chief Mathema, said the coronation was unconstitutional and illegal.
This was followed by an urgent chamber application by Chief Mathema in his capacity as the chairperson of the Royal Crown Trust challenging the Government’s decision to declare the coronation illegal and unconstitutional.
High Court judge Justice Makonese ruled that there was no law in the country allowing the establishment of a monarch.