Statement by Deputy Minister of Local Government, Sesel Zvidzai (MP)
9 December 2011
Chiefs play a critical cultural role in the Zimbabwean society. They are the custodians of the culture, traditions and languages of the people in their districts. Chiefs’ functions are governed by the Traditional Leaders Act administered by the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development. They are responsible for the administration of traditional law in their areas of jurisdiction.
It has come to my attention that Chief Lucious Negomo, of Chiweshe has allegedly served summons on the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Rt. Honourable Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, to appear before his court for allegedly breaking local traditional rules at the home of one Locadia Karimatsenga, in Christon Bank.
Christon Bank is a Human Settlement under Mazowe Rural District Council. The Settlement is in a “Resettlement Area” which is commonly referred to by the Local Community as “Mugomba”.
Resettlement areas have not been placed under jurisdiction of any appropriate Chieftainship and Christon Bank, is one such Resettlement that has not been emplaced under the jurisdiction of any Chief.
The Ministry of Local Government is currently seized with the matter of emplacing resettlement areas under the jurisdiction of appropriate Chieftainship. This process is difficult and very sensitive as it revisits issues around who is the legitimate Traditional Leader for the resettlement area under question.
The Process involves District Administrators, Chiefs with common boundaries and other Chiefs who were removed by the Colonial regime for refusing to cooperate with its administration. This is followed by the Gazetting of the area into the jurisdiction of the appropriate Traditional Leader.
To date no resettlement area has been gazetted in completion of the emplacement process, even the old (1980) resettlement areas are not under the jurisdiction of Traditional Leaders.
Christon Bank, like any other resettlement area, has not been emplaced under any Chief. Three Chiefs, namely, Chief Chiweshe, Chief Negomo and Chief Hwata are laying claim to the area. It must be noted that Chief Hwata, who was moved to Dande by the colonial settlers, indicated that he would like to return to his original area of jurisdiction which includes Christon Bank and probably has the strongest case.
The Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development is currently making efforts to resolving the dispute between the three Chiefs. Once the dispute has been resolved, Christon Bank will be emplaced under the appropriate Traditional Leader. Therefore, Chief Negomo, is not the Chief responsible for Christon Bank and has no jurisdiction over this area.
His actions to summon the Prime Minister to his so-called court are mischievous. Such mischief will naturally invite action from the Ministry.
SESEL ZVIDZAI (MP), DEPUTY MINISTER, MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT