Chief Goledema appointment should not be politicised: San organisation

Tsoro-o-tso San Development Trust (TSDT), an organisation advocating for the development of San people in Tsholotsho and Bulilima districts has said the recent appointment of Chief Goledema should not be politicised.

Last month President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed Christopher Dube as substantive Chief Goledema of Tsholotsho following his selection by the San community last year.

Chief Goledema-elect of Gariya Village, Tsholotsho set to be installed any time will become the inaugural San chief and the seventh traditional leader in the district.

He inherited his grandfather’s name, who was a respected rainmaker and senior traditionalist.

However, raising a point of national interest in the National Assembly last Wednesday, Binga North legislator, Prince Dubeko Sibanda queried how the decision to appoint Goledema was arrived at.

Sibanda, who is also the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Matabeleland North provincial chairman said the Local Government Minister July Moyo should come to the august House to explain the development adding the San people were already under the jurisdiction of chiefs Gampu and Siphoso.

“At the end of the day Hon. Speaker, like I did ask first, “what is the motive driving the government to decide that there should be a chief for the San people when the San people themselves do not feel like they want a chief?” said the lawmaker.

“Who identified the individual that the government wants to install as a chief, is it the San people themselves or is it a government initiative?”

Responding to that TSDT director, Davy Ndlovu said the selection and appointment of Chief-Goledema elect was done above board, adding there was no need to politicise it.

“We have been working with the San people from around 2010 and we have always been advocating for their development,” Ndlovu told CITE.

“One particular thing that we have been working on is language revitalisation and the resuscitation of Tshwao traditional leadership structure. So, we started very long back. Today there is some form of progress but the process started long ago.”

He decried: “It is however sad to hear the issue now being discussed in Parliament. These people should have consulted us first to understand this whole issue instead of discussing it in Parliament and bringing in politics.”

Ndlovu said way before Dube was appointed his organisation crafted an advocacy and lobby strategy document that he personally took to Harare to the Local Government Ministry offices.

“After that research was conducted on families to identify which family was eligible,” he explained.

“After submitting everything that was needed, consultations then started. Ministers came and we had an open discussion with the community. After that officials from the DA and PA’s offices also came down and we did consultations again. Chiefs also came down being led by Chief Mathuphula and the consultations continued until the elders chose Christopher Dube as Chief Goledema. There was no politics whatsoever involved in that.”

Ndlovu however said: “What we know is that after Dube was chosen as Chief Goledema-elect people from the opposition party came to Ward 7 and sat down with the community members and spoke about this issue. Obviously, in the community there will always be one or two people who would say they did not like that. Those people are there and are known and they opposed that through their political structures. Maybe that could be a way of scuttling everything.”

He however said it was pointless to challenge a process that is nearing completion. “This thing about what was said in Parliament has been trending and people are now wondering what is going to happen next,” said Ndlovu.

“Even those people who attended that meeting are now fearful as they are being exposed. We had wanted this thing to be cultural and not political but they have just brought in politics.”

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