Question and Answer on the Chirumanzu chieftainship

By Stephen Chadenga

The Chirumanzu chieftainship wrangle has gone for more than a year
now. The Chirumanzu chieftainship clan say Julius Chigegwe (JC) should
be the next heir to the throne but acting chief Fidelis Mudzengi
allegedly refused to relinquish the post since assuming that role on a
temporary basis following the death of his father, late Chief Gerald
Mudzengi. RadioVop Midlands correspondent Stephen Chadenga (SC) caught up with Chigegwe for an insight into the chieftainship dispute.

SC: Can we have a brief background of who Julius Chigegwe is?

JC: I am the first born son of Eliot Mukazi who is the son of
Chapwanya. Chapwanya is the first born son of Nherera who is the first
born son of Mepo, founder of the Chirumanzu chieftaincy. Dominic
Gwanyaya’s father is a brother to my father.

SC: You have been mentioned as the next heir to the Chirumanzu
chieftainship and was supposed to succeed the late Chief Gerald
Mudzengi, what is stopping you from being appointed substantive chief
now?

JC: The facts are that Gerald was appointed erroneously. His subhouse
Chiweshe is number five. It was Chigegwe subhouse number three which
should have taken over. In the Chigegwe subhouse the eldest son and
rightful heir is Dominic Gwanyanya. They connived with the then
officials to say Gwanyanya was dead when he is alive to this day. When
Gerald passed on the Chirumanzu dynasty led by Headman FT Chaka had
already started fighting for his removal. They had resolved to correct
the wrong. Because of advanced age Gwanyanya gave the nod to be the
appointee. The clan endorsed my name and forwarded it for me to be
appointed acting chief but they lost fight to have me appointed as the
chiefs council through the then district development coordinator’s
office settled for Gerald’s son, Fidelis. We however wait for the
chiefs council to complete the process of substantive chief by coming
to Chirumanzu to be given the name of the selected candidate. The
Chirumanzu dynasty however resolved to work with Fidelis as the
Chirumanzu Chieftainship Royal Families Dare prepared for the
substantive chief to be appointed at the end of two years on5 February
2021 of “Sarapavana” (Fidelis).
The Dare signed a memorandum of understanding and agreement (MOUA)
before a commissioner of oaths confirming the clam succession matrix.
The MOUA seeks to ensure that the subhouse which hasn’t ruled takes
its turn. This happens to be Chigegwe subhouse which has been given
the heirship. My role would be to ensure that the 12 subhouses of
Chirumanzu chieftaincy each have their chieftaincy as is now the
practice across all districts and examples include Mberengwa  with 16
chiefs, Gutu, 13 chiefs and Binda, 16 chiefs.

SC: Can you give a brief history of the succession matrix in the
Chirumanzu chieftainship?

JC: On our succession matrix of the 12 subhouses of Mepo entitled to
chieftainship six are from Nherera subhouse, the elder of the two
brothers. Of these four have ruled. From the Simba  house all four
sons have ruled at least once while the other two have ruled two and
three times respectively  which is a total of seven times for the
Simba subhouse. The other two are his brothers who are headmen and are
not entitled to the throne. Nherera subhouse has ruled a paltry three
times. I am from the Nherera subhouse and supposed to take over the
chieftaincy. It is also notable that four of Simba subhouse are
headmen with non from Nherera, the elder house. It is those factors
that made the dynasty agree to address the anomaly. The important
point is that each subhouse will get its chieftaincy while the
Chirumanzu name will be held by the son who has not had a chance.

SC: Have you approached the relevant authorities to help resolve the
chieftainship crisis and if so what have they done?

JC: The Chirumanzu dynasty has been engaging the district development
coordinator, provincial development coordinator, provincial chiefs
council, national chiefs council as well the Local Government ministry
since 2015. It intensified efforts from March 2019 following the death
of the late chief Gerald Mudzengi. Minutes of our meetings and letters
have been shared with these offices. We presented our nomination
papers before the expiry of the “Sarapavana” (acting chief Fidelis
Mudzengi) after two years on 5 February 2021. We lodged our MOUA with
all offices and the minister (July Moyo) before expiry of that period
as required. We have met with the district and provincial offices to
press our matter. On a number of occasions, the provincial chiefs
council notified us that they were coming but failed citing funding
and other pressures. We had expected them in October and November and
still wait for them this December. On our part we ready. The
representatives of the 12 subhouses resolved they are ready to address
any issues from nay quarter because we have historical facts and the
resolve to ensure equitable and fair succession to our ancestor Mepo’s
inheritance. The sons of Nherera and Simba are the rightful heirs to
the throne and intend in a justice manner to grant each their turn of
chieftaincy. The MOUA is there for all to see and has fully outlined
how this is going to happen.

SC: What are your partying words to the people of Chirumanzu who have
been waiting for a substantive chief for this long?

JC:To the people of Chirumanzu the time to take our 12 places as
chiefs to the table of the national chiefs council is now. Why should
we have one seat when all other districts have more chiefs according
to the number of their rightful heirs. Chirumanzu Dare selected your
next chief Chirumanzu  whose task is to give each of the 12 subhouses
its rightful chieftaincy. The name Chirumanzu will remain alive moving
from one remaining subhouse to another. All Mepo sons will have an
equal share of his throne. It will keep moving in chronological order.
The powers that be have listened to and promised to respect our wish.
Nyika yemidzi mina yamuka which means the land of the source of four
rivers is rising!