OUTSPOKEN Ntabazinduna Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni was yesterday “suspended” by the Matabeleland North traditional leaders’ provincial assembly on grounds that his chieftainship is being contested.
Ndiweni was reportedly suspended during a chiefs’ provincial assembly meeting held in Bulawayo.
Fellow traditional leaders argued Ndiweni was illegally acting as a substantive chief in violation of Nguni customs, practices and norms which recognise the eldest son in his family, Joram as the rightful heir to the throne.
The motion to suspend Ndiweni, who is also a government critic, was moved by Binga Chief Siansale and was seconded by Chief Siyabhuwa during the meeting.
The meeting was chaired Chief Shana, who is also the chairperson of the Matabeleland North chiefs’ council.
Repeated efforts to obtain a comment from Shana and Ndiweni were fruitless as their mobiles were unreachable.
Ndiweni’s spokesperson Nothiwani Dlodlo, however, confirmed the developments.
“The meeting was supposed to be held in Lupane but for some reason it was moved to Bulawayo.
“We understand huge sums of money were given to some chiefs in Binga for the motion to suspend Ndiweni to sail through since they constitute the majority,” Dlodlo claimed.
“However, we view this as all political. It’s all politics at play. They are being used.
“There are some chiefs, who are being challenged but we have never heard of them being suspended. They have opened a can of worms. . . they won’t succeed.”
Ndiweni is currently out on $500 bail pending appeal after he was convicted by a Bulawayo magistrate early this year for destroying property worth $300 belonging to his subject.
He was serving an 18-month jail term, while his co-accused 23 other villagers were given a community sentence.
The Ndebele paramount chieftainship has been a contentious issue since the death of Chief Khayisa Ndiweni in 2010 with Joram insisting that he is the rightful heir since he is the eldest son.
Joram filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court over five years ago seeking to block his brother Nhlanhla, from being installed as the substantive chief. Nhlanhla’s installation has been postponed several time the despite the late former president Robert Mugabe confirming that he is the substantive chief.
— The Standard