Mambo king denies plot to oust Ndebele chiefs

Lozwi King, Mike Moyo, has refuted claims that his ‘government-backed’ installation was meant to thwart the Ndebele monarch’s influence and cause divisions among its chiefs.

Moyo said their intention as the Mambo dynasty, is to share chieftainships with the Ndebele and not replace them.

A businessman with interests in South Africa, Moyo, said he was also in talks with the government to lobby them to amend the constitution so that it recognises traditional kingdoms.

Moyo was installed Lozwi King in September 2019, a year after Local Government minister, July Moyo, blocked the Ndebele king, Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo’s coronation.

Coincidentally, Moyo’s installation at his homestead in Mawabeni, Esigodini took place on the same day as the annual King Mzilikazi Commemorations at Mhlahlandlela Memorial Site, which angered some Ndebele traditional leaders.

Moyo’s coronation was well attended with 80 chiefs drawn from across the country’s 10 provinces reportedly attending amid reports that it was partly bankrolled by the government.

Speaking at the memorial service of the late Xhosa King Zwelonke Sigcawu in Bulawayo Saturday, Moyo insisted that the Mambo Dynasty wanted to build relations with the Ndebele and not to destroy them.

Clad in traditional headgear, he denied reports that the Mambo Dynasty wanted to remove all Ndebele chiefs and replace them with those from Mashonaland.

“Mambo is not a regional king but a national king, therefore, I ask all our leaders in Zimbabwe to unite. After my installation, social media reports claimed I will remove Nguni chiefs and replace them with those from Mpumalanga (Mashonaland). That is not true, what you see on social media are lies,” Moyo said.

“We are not here to destroy but to build. What we said was Lozwi chiefs were removed during the coming in of Mzilikazi and we are saying those chiefs are the ones we want to revive.”

According to Moyo, Lozwi chiefs were displaced during the Mzilikazi era in 1838 by his people, while the king himself arrived in the country in 1840.

Historical records say the last Mambo king took his life after his troops were defeated by the Swazi troops led by Queen Nyamazana before King Mzilikazi’s arrival.

The Mambo King suggested that Nguni and Lozwi chiefs must preside over one chieftaincy side by side.

“We have to share the chieftainships, with our Lozwi chiefs re-installed. The chiefs I am talking about are oMoyo, Ncube, Sibanda, Ndlovu, Dube, Tshuma, Nyathi, Nyoni and Mpofu,” he said.

Moyo insisted there were local chiefs from Matabeleland, as it was their home too.

“We are not going to install chiefs from outside, we cannot do that. The names I named above are not from Mashonaland but are people from Matabeleland. We will pair each Nguni chief with a Lozwi chief. I said let us share, not what is coming out from social media. I am not here to remove Nguni chiefs, I cannot do that as we are one blood. We must unite and speak constructive words. There is no one from the Nguni who doesn’t have the Lozwi blood, never!” he retorted.

He claimed the Mambo royal house, has started talking with the government to amend the constitution and allow the provision of having traditional kings.

“Our constitution is silent on a king, which is why we have to amend the constitution. We will lobby until it is done,” Moyo said.

However, when Moyo was speaking, the microphone was switched off by the technical team under the elders’ advice, although he continued speaking.

The reason probably was he had diverted from the purpose of the memorial service, as the master of ceremonies, Effie Ncube, told the gathering that no one must seek unnecessary attention or divert from the main purpose of the event.

In 2018, when the government blocked the coronation of Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo as king of the Ndebele, they said there was no law in the country that allowed the establishment of a monarchy.

The constitution – Section 281 only speaks to chiefs and the role played by the traditional institution, which is: “act in accordance with this Constitution and the laws of Zimbabwe; observe the customs pertaining to traditional leadership and exercise their functions for the purposes for which the institution of traditional leadership is recognised by this Constitution; and treat all persons within their areas equally and fairly.”

Matabeleland chiefs, represented by Chief Mathema, filed a court challenge against blocking the coronation on behalf of the Royal Crown Trust that is behind efforts to revive the Ndebele monarchy.

The bid, however, failed.

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One Comment

  1. it is interesting to hear the Ngunis wanting to have a monachy revived yet they are the minority of Matland. I am not privy about the authenticity of Mambo but lozwis are a majority. I am not Lozwi nor Nguni nor Shona i am a Hole as Ngunis would put it

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