Friday, 11 August 2017

CHIEF TAKES MINISTER TO COURT

CHIEF Tshovani of Chiredzi has taken the Minister of Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage, Abednico Ncube, to court seeking to bar the holding of a meeting by the Provincial Council of Chiefs for Masvingo.

The meeting, scheduled for today, seeks to discuss the resuscitation of Neromwe chieftainship in an area, which falls under Chief Tshovani.

Mr Hlaisi Mundau, who is Chief Tshovani, through his lawyers Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners, has filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order blocking Minister Ncube from sanctioning the meeting.

He wants an order directing the Minister to cancel the meeting, which was called by Senator Chief Chitanga. The meeting seeks to make recommendations to the National Council of Chiefs for the appointment of Chief Neromwe.

Mr Mundau said he was not consulted over the matter despite the fact that the area for the proposed Chief Neromwe falls under his area of jurisdiction


In papers before the court, Minister Ncube, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage Dr Thokozile Chitepo, the Attorney-General Prince Machaya and Senator Chief Chitanga, were cited as respondents.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Mundau, said he has been sidelined by the Senator Chief Chitanga in the process.

“I am being sidelined by the district administrator for Chiredzi and the Ministry. Meetings to discuss my chieftainship were discussed without my input and I requested that the Minister undertake that no decisions that affect my chieftainship would be made without informing me,” he said.

In December 2014 an investigative team called a meeting to gather information on the history and views on the Neromwe chieftainship. Mr Mundau said the report by the investigative committee was inaccurate and distorted.

“My interest arises from the fact that the area the Neromwe people seek to have chieftainship over is an area historically under Chief Tshovani. I have only just become aware that a report was prepared in March 2015 and it recommended that Neromwe chieftainship be resuscitated over wards 17, 26 and 29, which are presently under my jurisdiction and historically under Chief Tshovani,” he said.

Mr Mundau said all the processes that led to the recommendation for the resuscitation of the Neromwe chieftainship were fundamentally flawed. In terms of Section 283 of the Constitution, the President appoints chiefs on recommendations of the provincial assembly of chiefs through the National Council of Chiefs and the Minister responsible for traditional leaders in accordance with the traditional practices and traditions of communities concerned.

Mr Mundau said the decision to resuscitate the Neromwe chieftainship is a breach of the elementary tenets of fair and natural justice, arguing that his voice was not heard in the matter affecting his interests. “Any recommendations the President acts on should be well supported by factual findings, which in this case have been ignored,” said Mr Mundau. Chronicle 

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