Chieftainship row in court

dzova_marangeMARANGE - Zvidzayi Dzova Marange feels that the government robbed him of his chieftainship and has resolved to take the fight to court. (Pictured: 102-year-old Zvidzayi Dzova Marange plans to fight Marange in court for the chieftainship.)

His brother’s son, Caleb Marange, who is the MDC-T councillor for Marondera Urban Ward 4, vowed to stand by Zvidzayi until the disputed chieftainship was returned to the rightful candidate.

Zvidzai told The Zimbabwean how the traditional leadership was taken from the Marange family and handed over to Gilbert Chikuvadombo Marange, who is a member of Zanu (PF) and nephew to the Marange family.

“When my brother, Chief Noah Marange, passed on in 2005, I was nominated heir to his throne according to African and Marange family tradition. This was after Local Government officials requested our clan to select a Chieftainship candidate to succeed the late Noah.

“Formal communication was done with the Local Government authorities regarding my nomination. According to custom, I was the next in line for the chieftainship. Local traditional leadership attended and approved my chieftainship. Gilbert suspiciously did not attend the occasion.

“Following the appointment of traditional chieftainship protocol, I went through the rituals and was duly appointed as such. Problems started when Gilbert, who is son to the late chief, was officially sworn in by government as the new chief. He had been appointed in an acting capacity soon after my brother passed on, on the understanding that he would cede power when the Ministry of Local Government officially swore in my candidature.

“To our surprise, we received an official letter from the Ministry of Local Government which was signed by President Robert Mugabe, extending Gilbert’s tenure at the Chieftainship and virtually declaring him official Chief.

“As Marange family and the Bocha community, we do not recognize Gilbert’s chieftainship and demand that he cedes power without further delay.

Caleb said the Marange family planned to take the matter to court as soon as they could.

“Gilbert is a top Zanu (PF) official in the area and drives around in a party vehicle. His position in Zanu (PF) could have influenced the controversial appointment,” said Caleb.

Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, his senior officials at the district administrator’s offices and President Robert Mugabe, who allegedly signed the letter of appointment which catapulted Gilbert to the throne, are likely to be cited as respondents in the impending court case.

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