Bushu Chieftainship Row Spills To High Court

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By Mary Taruvinga

A SHAMVA man, Tayengwa Musukuma has dragged Chief Bushu, born Gracious Mukanwa to the High Court challenging his appointment as the local traditional healer.

Musukuma wants the nomination to be declared unlawful and claims he is the rightful successor following the death of Show Bushu in 2016.

Cited as the respondents are Local Government Minister July Moyo as well as the Mashonaland Central Provincial Chiefs Council.

He also cited as respondents, the Mashonaland Central provincial administrator, the Shamva district administrator, Gracious Mukanwa, and Pennias Ngwarati.

He filed the lawsuit together with  Livingstone Ngwarati.

According to the court application, the chieftainship alternates between the descendants of two families, Katepera and Mudepu.

Show Bushu, is a descendant of the Mudepu family.

Musukuma told the court a meeting was held in 2018, following the death of Bushu where Ngwarati recommended Mukanwa as the new chief.

He accused Mukanwa of intimidating Ngwarati into recommending him.

It is his argument the recommendation should be set aside as Ngwarati had no authority to nominate a candidate.

“After the death of the late Chief Show Bushu in 2016, a meeting was held in 2018 to discuss the selection process of the Bushu chieftainship. The late chief was from the Mudepu clan hence the current chief was supposed to be chosen from the descendants of the Katepera family,” he said in his application.

“Currently the branch/clan whose turn it is to recommend the chief is assisted by the eldest male of that clan…the eldest male can choose to take the chieftainship himself.

“The 6th respondent (Ngwarati) who purported to nominate 5th respondent (Mukanwa) as chief had no such power as he was not the eldest surviving member of the clam.”

Musukuma said when the meeting was held, most family members from the Katepera clam were absent, and therefore, the recommendation should be declared invalid.

“The meeting had no quorum. The Masekesa branch of the family of which I am a member…was not informed of the meeting. This is despite the fact that it has the oldest surviving adult whose duty it is to recommend a person for the chieftainship.

“Female members of the Bushu clan were specifically excluded. The exclusion of females is not only discriminatory but was unconstitutional as well as it violated several sections of the Constitution.”

He is demanding that the court declare that the Mashonaland Central Provincial Chiefs Council’s recommendation of Mukanwa as the substantive chief invalid.