MASVINGO – The planned installation of new Headman Nemanwa billed to have taken place on March 1, 2017 was stopped after members of the clan protested the imposition of a candidate.
Bothwell Mushayi who led a family delegation in an interview with The Mirror accused the president of the Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira of trying to impose his own man as the next Headman Nemanwa following the death of the last headman.
Mushayi said Charumbira must not be involved in the succession process of Nemanwa as he was not a member of the family. He said Charumbira was trying to impose Wilson Vengesa by virtue of him having produced a birth certificate which showed that he was the oldest among those vying for the position.
He said Masvingo District Administrator's office had planned the installation of Vengesa for March 1, but Mushayi who is the secretary for Nemanwa Headmanship said his committee wrote a petition to the new District Administrator, Roy Hove protesting against the move and the event was stopped.
Hove claimed he was busy when contacted for comment but later switched off his mobile phone.
Efforts to get comment from Chief Charumbira were fruitless as his mobile phone was not being answered up to the time of going to press.
Mushayi said Charumbira influenced the former District Administrator James Mazvidza not to accept and recognise the acting Headman Nemanwa born Paul Masvireka who is the grandson of the late headman. He said Masvireka has been acting for the past three years in accordance with accepted tradition of materera but three years on he still gets no Government recognition because Charumbira does not want him.
"Our succession process has been frustrated by Chief Charumbira who was using former DA Mazvidza who is his close relative. Mazvidza is an uncle to Charumbira and was appointed as DA through the influence of Charumbira who was then Deputy Minister of Local Government.
"It must be remembered that Nemanwa is the one who appointed Charumbira as headman a century back and now it is Fortune Charumbira who wants to play the superior. We are not answerable to Charumbira. History has it that we were in this area from as early as 758AD and yet Charumbira only arrived around 1865 and he married in our family hence we gave him some land," said Mushayi.
Mazvidza refused to comment saying he is now retired and nolonger in the office.
\Mushayi also accused the then acting DA Peacemaker Muzenda of siding with Charumbira.
Muzenda did not pick-up her phone when reached for comment.