The Ndiweni clan insists Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni is still the substantive Chief of Ntabazinduna despite being dethroned by the government in 2019.
In December 2019, President Emmerson Mnangagwa dethroned the firebrand traditional leader, ordering the immediate seizure of his regalia as well as state property including the government availed car.
Chief Ndiweni’s lawyers filed an Urgent Chamber Application at the High Court.
The matter is yet to be heard.
In a statement which was availed to CITE, the Ndiweni clan argued that the succession was completed decades ago when the late Chief Khayisa Ndiweni declared in 1981 that his son, Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni would succeed him.
The Late Chief Khayisa passed away on August 10, 2010.
The clan also said the late Chief’s spouse, uGogo uMasuku, who passed away two years ago, wrote in her will that is now at the High Court, saying she left everything of the Clan Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna under the authority of Felix Nhlanhla Ndiweni.
“In addition to that, she legally brought the Estate of the Clan Ndiweni closer to the people of Ntabazinduna in a legal arrangement in the will. In essence, maintaining Felix Nhlanhla Ndiweni as Chief. Of great interest is she also wrote down and included Albert Mahlabezulu Ndiweni in that will to work with Felix Nhlanhla Ndiweni,” said the clan.
“During this whole matter, this is the new development that changes everything, in regards to the Clan Ndiweni Chieftaincy of Ntabazinduna.”
The clan noted this opened up a new way of making sure that the chieftaincy succession matters are smooth and free from outside interference.
Objections against Chief Ndiweni’s ascendency started around 2012 to 2014 and sometime again in 2019 when Douglas Ndiweni, one of the sons of the late Chief Khayisa Felix Ndiweni objected.
“Douglas stated he was speaking on behalf of Jorum Ndiweni who was in the United Kingdom (UK) for about 47 years but the clan indicated he had only returned to Zimbabwe for only two weeks.
That objection was overruled by his mother – the late Chiefs spouse, Clan Ndiweni elders, the then four Ndiweni Clan Chiefs, people and village heads of Ntabazinduna.
“However, Douglas Ndiweni continued with his ‘objection’ whilst producing nothing new of validity or of significance. As if there was an invisible hand at work here within this matter,” said the clan, who highlighted, “In law and in Administration best practice, one does not review something, until there is new evidence that has been found or if one can identify something procedural that was wrong. Then the matter may be reviewed.”
The Ndiweni family noted it was puzzling how a letter produced sometime in 2019 by Douglas claiming that it was from Jorum who opposed what had happened in Ntabazinduna in 2014, skipped official chiefs’ procedures and was presented directly to the Provincial Chiefs Council of Matabeleland North.
“With great surprise, the Chiefs Council does not instigate another investigation but rather chooses to recommend to the president for the recall of Chief Ndiweni,” said the clan.
The clan said no proper hearing or investigation was done with respect to this letter.
“The President’s Office received this recommendation from the Provincial Chiefs Council of Matabeleland. It is not clear what steps, if any, were taken to establish that due process was done here. But Chief Ndiweni is recalled. Chief Ndiweni’s lawyers put in an Urgent Chamber Application halting the recall. It proved successful. The case is very strong indeed in his favour.”
The clan said as the substantive chief, Chief Ndiweni was still in touch with his people and even though he was in the UK.
“He has Zoom meetings with his village heads, video calls with them, group chats with them. He instructs various matters to be resolved in various ways. Ntabazinduna Communal Lands is now registered internationally and can independently raise funds and resources through its own bank account in the international arena. A community that is now about to be in charge of its own development and assist local government,” said the clan.
“These developments have been achieved by Chief Ndiweni whilst he has received prolonged treatment in the UK.”
Through his work, the clan noted that small scale dairy farming will shortly begin in Ntabazinduna, a market garden will also be introduced at the same time, a goat programme with local partners will shortly have additional assistance, among other projects.
To date, Chief Ndiweni works closely with four monarchies from SADC and Zimbabwe, on a number of matters.
“One of whom is the very top voice, with respect to the AmaNgwe Clan, of which Clan Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna is part of,” said the clan.
On his return shortly, Chief Ndiweni will establish an e-government hub at the Ntabazinduna Council Hall to enable locals to obtain all necessary documents.
“The required electronic equipment is now there. Some of this equipment will be shared with the Zimbabwe Republic Police sub-station situated next to the Council Hall. This equipment will also enable the police sub-station to operate properly all night with its independent electric power,” said the Ndiweni clan.