Mnangagwa Dragged Into Gokwe Chieftainship Row

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By Mary Taruvinga

A GOKWE family clan has dragged President Emmerson Mnangagwa into its nasty chieftainship row as they argue the ordained chief is from the wrong royal lineage.

The matter is now before the High Court, and Mnangagwa is being sued together with Local Government Minister July Moyo, and the disputed chief Mafioni Rikonda.

Rikonda is the ordained Chief Masuka in Gokwe South, but his close relatives are challenging the appointment.

In a joint urgent chamber application filed at the High Court by Martin Masuka, and family members of Rikonda, Nemaringa, and Gwenjera houses, Rikonda’s appointment as chief ultra vires the country’s Constitution.

“The person appointed as substantive Chief Masuka in Gokwe South District is not allowed to be appointed as Chief Masuka by the ‘prevailing traditional practices and traditions’ of the Masuka people/tribe as he is not from the permissible senior generation of ‘fathers’ of the Rikonda House,” the applicants wrote in their application.

According to the court papers, the tradition of the Masuka clan demands that the eldest surviving person from the three royal families should take up the chieftainship, and in this case, it falls on the first applicant, Martin Masuka.

“What this means is that wherever a chief is to be appointed from any of the three royal families, the eldest surviving person in that particular house automatically becomes chief. In this case, it is the Rikonda House that should take up the chieftainship, so the eldest in the Rikonda House must take the chieftainship.”

The applicants want Rikonda’s appointment set aside and a meeting for the provincial assembly of chiefs convened urgently and review its decision, and appoint a legitimate traditional leader.

The clan members argue the appointment of Rikonda by the President was based on misrepresentations and a “whole bunch of lies”.