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Makoni Chieftainship wrangle Surge

By Shingirai Vambe

Traditional leaders in Makoni district have demonstrated against the move by Local government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo to promulgate the change of boundaries of Maungwe area under Chief Makoni, Cogen Simbisayi Gwasira in Rusape.

Gwasira who is the sitting Chief told Post On Sunday that the whole district belonged to Makoni but the likes of Chief Tandi, Chikowore, Chiduku and Chipunza are pushing for the change of boundaries of his area.

The wrangle between chiefs in Makoni has spilled into Judicial Courts with the matter being struck off the role after a notice of postponement was given to all the parties. A proposal was made for the matter to be heard in January 2023 citing nearing close of year 2022.

Narrating the circumstances leading to the demonstration that took place in Rusape recently Gwasira said the 2018 Gazette which is favouring the four chiefs, was not serving any purpose in the preservation of our culture and heritage thus an appeal was made at the High Court.

According to Court papers that this publication has in possession, the application was made in 2021. Paper trail prove consistency from the office of the previous minister, Abdenico Ncube and the Permanent Secretary, George magosvongwe dating back to 2004, until changes where made in 2018.

Chief Makoni added, July Moyo said the area belong to the Rozvi, when in actual fact it belongs to Maungwe, those of the Nyati totem, any other person came between 16th and 20th century adding to the assassination of one of the first ruler, Chief Makoni Xiii (Chingaira).

It is alleged, Chief Chiduku came from Bikita, Masvingo and the current chief being from Buhera, Bhidhiri area, while Chief Tandi is believed to have come from Mangwende around 1800 as a tax collector for the British South African Company BSAC in the 19s and Chipunza being the brother to Makoni was given an area to oversee in 1917 then later installed in 1952.

Gwasira told this publication that some of the Chiefs listed above contributed to the killing of Chingaira, whose remains are still in Britain, and they were awarded by the BSAC for that, to become chiefs of different areas in Makoni.

According to History, BSAC started demarcating the boundaries of Makoni around 1500.

In a twist of events, it is alleged that news broke out from the four, that the High Court ruling was out and Gwasira and his counterparts lost the case. After relaying this information, it is reported that Chipunza, Chiduku, Chikore and Tandi started to celebrate and prepared for a ceremony (Bira) mobilizing their people to dethrone sitting chiefs and headsman.

Gwasira said, the Chief executive Officer of Makoni Rural District Council, Edward Pise said the Minister had given a directive during the Local authorities Chief Executive Officers conference, adopting the new 2018 gazette.

One of the people who is said to have mobilized resource and people is Albert Nyakuedzwa a Zanu Pf activist.

Efforts to get a comment from minister July Moyo were fruitless as he was not answering his mobile phone.

The District Development Coordinator (DCC) Edward Mashindi is said to have refused to be part of the event citing no formal communication had been made for him to attend.

A police report was made and all relevant authorities have been informed and notified of the current development in Makoni District.

Gwasira said if this continue, he was going to push for their complete removal from his area and reposses the land that they were given.

Gwasira is being represented by Warara and Associates while the four are represented by Lovemore Madhuku.