Bid to bar Chief Mugabe installation stopped


MASVINGO – Justice Garainesu Mawadze, sitting at the High Court in Masvingo has thrown out an urgent chamber application to stop the installation of Matubede Mudavanhu as substantive Chief Mugabe.

Justice Mawadze said in his ruling yesterday that an installation is of no consequence and therefore not juristic as it is a mere celebration of what has already been confirmed by the law. He said the real opposition of Mudavanhu’s installation should be as per Section 283 of the Constitution which was used to make Mudavanhu substantive chief.

He said that the court has no powers to stop people from celebrating.

“In my respectful view an installation ceremony is not a juristic act per ser. To my mind it is a celebration irrespective of the said rituals,” said Justice Mawadze.

Professor Emmanuel Dumbu‘s complaint is that Mudavanhu was appointed chief after he acted for 13 years following the death of his father who was the substantive chief. His appointment is in violation of the Mugabe succession norms where the chieftainship rotates from house to house. The Mugabe chieftainship comprise of five houses namely Mudavanhu, Dumbu, Chipfunhu, Haruzivishe, and Chikanhe.

Mudavanhu is also accused of acting as chief for 13 years in violation of regulations that allows one to act for only two years.

Section 283 of the Constitution amended a few years back says that a chief is appointed and removed by the President. Disputes concerning chieftainships, according to this section do not go to courts but are referred to the provincial councils and if they are not resolved they go to the national chiefs’ council and if there is no remedy still, they go to the President.

This amendment was celebrated when it was passed but it is now causing sleepless nights to chieftainships as the President is now at liberty to appoint anyone regardless of the houses’ preferred candidate. There is concern that many appointments are now done for political expediency.

The ruling was made in a case in which Professor Emmanuel Dumbu one of the family members of the Mugabe clan made an urgent chamber application against Mudavanhu whose installation clearly violates the family’s traditional norms on succession. The respondents in the case were the President of Zimbabwe and Mudavanhu.

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