VICE President Cde Kembo Mohadi will today lead a delegation of Cabinet Ministers for a meeting with traditional leaders from Matabeleland region in Bulawayo regarding the planned coronation of a Ndebele king.
The Government delegation will seek to find common ground with chiefs and organisers of the coronation who are pushing ahead with plans to install Mr Colin Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo as the Ndebele king during a ceremony slated for Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
The meeting will be attended by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo and the Minister of Home Affairs and Culture, Dr Obert Mpofu.
Chiefs’ Council deputy president Chief Mtshane Khumalo of bui yesterday confirmed today’s meeting.
The chief could, however, not shed more light on the agenda of the meeting.
“We’ve been informed of a meeting between chiefs from Matabeleland North and South and Vice President Cde Mohadi. The meeting will be held tomorrow (today) at Rainbow Hotel starting at 10AM. I don’t have details of the agenda, but I believe all the chiefs have been notified about it,” said Chief Mtshane.
On Wednesday, Cde Moyo urged those organising the coronation of Mr Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo as the Ndebele king to stop as this was illegal.
The Minister, in a letter addressed to one of the organisers, Chief Mathema, said the coronation was unconstitutional and illegal.
“We acknowledge receipt of your letter notifying my Ministry of your intention to install a Crown Prince to the throne of King Lobengula on the March 3, 2018, and would like to advise as follows: That it is unconstitutional to resuscitate and install a Crown Prince or King in Zimbabwe,” reads Cde Moyo’s letter.
“And therefore you should cancel your intended installation of Crown Prince Bulelani scheduled for March 3, 2018, in Bulawayo because it is unconstitutional and illegal to do so.”
The Minister could not be reached for comment last night.
However, Chief Mathema said the coronation programme would continue as scheduled as Government did not understand why they were installing a Crown Prince.
“On what grounds is the Government declaring the coronation unconstitutional? This coronation is not for political purposes but cultural practices. We’re doing so to revive the cultural aspects that are enshrined in the country’s Constitution. The Minister is not a cultural expert to declare the coronation illegal,” said Chief Mathema.
He said they have been planning the coronation process for a very long time and cannot make a U-turn at this point.
“We have not planned this overnight. They cannot stop this as this is a cultural thing. We don’t need a Government official to tell us about resuscitating something on culture. We notified the police, all the provincial Ministers of State, the National Chiefs Council and the police who agreed not to intervene as this is a cultural matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, a claimant to the Ndebele crown, Mr Peter Zwide Khumalo, has approached the High Court challenging the planned coronation of his South Africa- based rival Mr Bulelani Colin Lobengula Khumalo in Bulawayo tomorrow.
Zwide, who last month imposed himself as King Nyamande Lobengula II, is seeking an order interdicting Bulelani Lobengula from being crowned “King of the Ndebele people”.
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 from King Lobengula’s various houses.
“In all these meetings third respondent (Bulelani) and I were in attendance and participated. It is critical to note that Bulelani in fact dissociated himself from the claims to the Ndebele throne. The meeting in fact determined that the king should come from the Nyamande House and I was then identified as the heir to the Ndebele throne. As such I was unveiled for that purpose as King Nyamande Lobengula II on 17 February 2018,” he said.
Zwide said Chief Mathema through the Royal Crown Trust, on the other hand instituted their own proceedings outside the King Lobengula House and purported to have identified Bulelani as their heir apparent to the Ndebele throne. “That process instituted by the respondents is unlawful as it is only the King Lobengula royal family that has the authority to identify a king for the Ndebele people within the Khumalo clan,” he said.
Zwide said the process led by the respondents is not in sync with the customs of the Khumalo clan.
“A prohibitory interdict be and is hereby issued binding over the respondents not to proceed with the installation of Bulelani as King of the Ndebele people on 3 March 2018,” said Zwide.