ED dethrones Ndiweni, orders police seizure of assets in traditional chief’s possession

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By Leopold Munhende

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has dethroned firebrand Ntabazinduna traditional leader, Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni and further ordered the immediate seizure of his government availed car and all the chief’s regalia as well as state property in his custody with the assistance of the police “if need be”.

In a letter signed to the Matabeleland North Provincial Chiefs Assembly by Secretary for Local Government, a Z. R Churu, Mnangagwa directed them to engage the Ndiweni clan to select a candidate.

“Please be advised that His Excellency, the President has, as per your recommendation and in line with the provisions of the Constitution and the Traditional Leaders Act, removed Felix Nhlanhla Ndiweni from the office of Chief Ndiweni in Umguza District with effect from 30 November,” reads the letter.

“Now therefore you are directed to proceed to do the following; 1. Officially advise the former Chief as well as cease the payment of his allowances.

“2. Cause the DDC for Umguza to recover the Government allocated vehicle, all Chief’s regalia and any other State assets in his custody, with the assistance of the ZRP if need be.

“To liaise with the Ndiweni clan to select a candidate for appointment as Substantive Chief Ndiweni.”

The fierce government critic has been involved in a fierce tag-of-war for the position with his brother Joram.

The embattled traditional leader was suspended as Ntabazinduna Chief in November during a Matabeleland North chiefs’ provincial assembly held in Bulawayo on the grounds that his chieftainship was being contested by his eldest brother.

Some family members opposed to his chieftainship queried how he landed the position when he had an older brother, who according to tradition, should take over.

However, Ndiweni’s mounting problems could be viewed from elsewhere as more than just the family dispute he is having but all to do with his temerity to challenge and embarrass Mnangagwa from a position of traditional chief.

Past few months, Ndiweni has come out in support of Western imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe which he said were justified for as long as they were against a rogue state.

As if that was not enough cheek against the country’s strongest man, Ndiweni went on to show open support for MDC leader and Mnangagwa arch-rival Nelson Chamisa.