By Blessings Mashaya
President of the National Council of Zimbabwe Chiefs, Fortune Charumbira, has won a High Court interdict stopping a probe into his legitimacy.
High Court judge justice David Mangota stopped an investigation that had been set in motion by Faniel Mkwaira, who is challenging Charumbira’s chieftainship.
“The provisional order herein be and is hereby confirmed. The 1st respondent’s (Rural and Development minister Abedinico Ncube)’s investigative and dispute resolution team constituted in May 2017 to investigate the dispute between the applicant and the 2nd respondent Fainos Mihwa Mapingure be and is hereby declared unconstitutional, unlawful and of no relevance.
“1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents (Ncube, Mapingure, Faniel Mkwaira, F Kutamahufa, Edgar Senza respectively) jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved, pay the cost of this application on a legal practitioner and client scale,” Mangota said.
The order comes after Charumbira argued in the court papers he is the legitimate chief.
“Out of the blue and without any warning whatsoever, I learnt in April 2017 from the first respondent (minister Ncube) that second respondent (Mapingure) had claimed that he was the legitimate Chief Charumbira.
“This came as a matter of shock to me as there could never be a possible basis on which the second respondent could bring such a claim, more so at this point in time when the chieftainship of the Charumbiras has been settled over several years and 17 years into my tenure as Chief Charumbira,” he said.
“It will be unlawful for the respondents herein to subject the applicant and his clan to an illegal and unconstitutional investigative and dispute resolution process.
“The respondent’s unlawful process will cause untold hardship to the applicant, the entire Charumbira clan and applicant’s constituency, the traditional leaders of Zimbabwe, as the applicant may be removed from his position and his clan may be burdened with an illegitimate leader.”
The chief further said he would suffer irreparable harm if he was to be subjected to the “illegal proceedings” which had far reaching implications on his standing as Chief Charumbira.
“The illegitimate process will only serve to undermine the dignity and integrity of applicant who is held in very high esteem among the traditional leaders and the public at large.
“The applicant also holds a highly respectable position at the continental parliament, an organ of the African Union,” he said.
The traditional leader, who is also a Senator, said as a chief he was involved in a number of additional issues which included leading various projects in his jurisdiction, resolving disputes and ensuring environmental conservation, food aid programme under Zunderamambo, anti HIV/Aids campaigns among many others. Daily News