The government has removed Ntabazinduna Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni from the office.
According to a letter signed by a person identified only as Z.R. Churu, secretary for Local Government and Public Works, addressed to the chairperson of the Matabeleland North Provincial Chiefs' Council, the president removed Chief Ndiweni with effect from November 30, 2019.
The letter read in part, "… Now therefore you are directed to proceed to officially advise the former chief as well as cease the payment of his allowances, cause the DDC (District Development Committee) to recover the government allocated vehicle, all chief's regalia and any other state assets in his custody, with the assistance of the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) if need be."
Churu asked the council chairperson to "liaise with the Ndiweni clan to select a candidate for appointment as substantive Chief Ndiweni in terms of Section 283(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and Section 3(2)(1) of the Traditional Leaders Act, chapter 29:17."
Chapter 283 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulates that the appointment, removal and suspension of chiefs must be done by the president on the recommendation of the provincial assembly of chiefs through the National Council of Chiefs and the minister responsible for traditional leaders and in accordance with the traditional practices and traditions of the communities concerned.
The Ndiweni family is fuming over the removal of Chief Ndiweni saying the government is interfering in the running of their household.
A family spokesperson Wilson Bancinyane Ndiweni said, "These people don't know what they are doing. Nhlanhlayamangwe was carefully selected by his late father Khayisa Ndiweni who asked the family to make sure that he is our next chief and we did exactly that. What they are doing is disgraceful. We will re-appoint him if they want us to look for another chief.
"The truth is that we are the Ndiweni clan and nobody should tell us what to do. These people don't know our history and the way we do things and to make matters worse, they want one of the sons to be the chief claiming that he is the first born child. That's not true."