DEFIANT Matebeleland North Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni will not be part of this Thursday’s meeting to be presided over by Vice President Kembo Mohadi for traditional chiefs in the province.
According to a programme of the event, the meeting is meant to discuss “approaches to peace-building and conflict resolution.”
Chief Ndiweni, whose blunt comments about the Zanu PF led government being a deserving target for western sanctions have caused a national frenzy, told NewZimbabwe.com he will not attend the meeting as he was not invited.
“No, I have not been invited. It is not a meeting I would want to attend,” he said Tuesday when asked if he will be part of the event.
Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial chairperson and provincial affairs minister Richard Moyo who has also attacked the chief over his remarks is also expected to address the meeting.
Moyo has said the outspoken traditional leader should just join active politics or form his own party and leave the chieftainship to those willing to stick to their roles as traditional leaders.
If he joined active politics, Moyo said, they will take the chief to the cleaners through electoral rout.
According to the event programme, members of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) will also address the traditional leaders.
Apart from his comments on sanctions, Chief Ndiweni has steadfastly stood for the interests of Ndebeles in a region that has always cried marginalisation in both national resource distribution and cultural isolation.
He has said that the Ntabazinduna Mountain was of historical and cultural significance to Ndebeles as it is the place from which King Mzilikazi kaMatshobana established the kingdom in the 1880s?
Apart from his stance in defence of Ndebele heritage, Chief Ndiweni has earned respect even from outside the region as he has stood in defence of the general poor, breaking from tradition that has seen traditional leaders often playing subservient to politicians either out of fear or simply to benefit from expensive cars and other government perks.
The outspoken traditional leader has denounced “rampant corruption and self-centredness” by the Zanu PF led administration.