Chigwedere in succession storm

Former education minister and Zanu (PF) Governor for Mashonaland East, Aneas Chigwedere, is currently involved in a bitter feud with family members over the alleged imposition of a “foreigner” as headman.

Governor for Mashonaland East, Aneas Chigwedere :  accused by family members of abuse of power.
Governor for Mashonaland East, Aneas Chigwedere : accused by family members of abuse of power.

Fanuel Chigwedere, the spokesperson of a group of disgruntled family elders, told The Zimbabwean that the former minister abused his power and imposed Ticharwa Munhiri from the Rwenyika clan as Headman Mubaiwa of Wedza, even though that position was supposed to be taken by a member from the family.

“Aneas acted strangely by installing Ticharwa as a headman, even though we are not even aware of his totem. His is not from the Mubaiwa clan and my brother (Aneas) is supposed to answer to this. The problem is that he has been promising to sort out the issue but has been evasive. We will not rest until we get answers to his decision,” said Fanuel.

Fanuel and Aneas are cousins whose fathers were direct blood brothers. The younger Chigwedere said the dispute had been going on for two years and the failure by his cousin to resolve it had forced family elders to approach the district administrator (DA).

Abuse of power

Disgruntled Chigwedere family members, including brothers Shepherd and Mafios, wrote to the DA on June 15 asking for a speedy resolution of the dispute. “We are kindly asking your offices to attend to this issue as a matter of urgency as we have tried to do it privately over the past couple of years but that has failed,” reads the letter, which was copied to the current governor, Joel Biggie Matiza, and the provincial administrator, one Ndarukwa, whose phone was not available.

They accused Aneas, who was not responding to calls, of abusing his power when he installed Ticharwa as the headman while he was still governor two years ago. The petitioners said Aneas had chosen Ticharwa ahead of a family member because he was afraid that choosing a Chigwedere would expose his abuse of office.

Foreign bloodline

Fanuel said Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who was supposed to be informed of the decision, was in the dark about Ticharwa’s installation and the subsequent dispute.

“Ticharwa’s father is called Rwenyika Munhiri and we have no idea of his totem. This Rwenyika Munhiri was born in a family that was not his by blood but by birth as his mother had gotten married into our family. This Rwenyika in turn got married and was blessed with a son called Ticharwa and this Ticharwa is the one who is now at the pinnacle. How can he be (headman) to a tribe of a bloodline that is foreign to him?” wrote the petitioners.

They would like to know the procedure that was adopted to install Ticharwa as headman and why he was “fraudulently” chosen in the first place.

They claimed that the courts had already ruled that the headmanship must be held by a Chigwedere, yet Aneas was defying that.

“After all those hassles (and) legal matters inclusive of costs, the very same headmanship that we fought for has been passed onto someone who is not of our blood.

“We cannot have a single individual deciding what goes on and what doesn’t for the family especially when his interests clearly show that he is against his very own blood (and) also on the fact that this individual (Aneas) is very learned and clearly understands culture.”

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