HARARE – Lawyers representing claimant to the Negomo chieftainship David Gweshe have written to Local Government minister July Moyo asking him to expedite his appointment as the substantive chief.
Gweshe is laying claim to the chieftainship, which is currently held by the controversial Luscious Chitsinde, and wants to change it from Negomo to Gwangwadza.
He argues that the Chitsindes are not the rightful progenies to the throne ostensibly because they illegitimately wrestled it from the Ngwangwadza clan during the colonial era.
The chieftainship’s territory is located in Mazowe in Mashonaland Central province.
In October last year, the Mashonaland Central Provincial Chief's Council resolved to restore the chieftainship to the Gwangwadza family at a meeting in Bindura and petitioned government to install Gweshe as the substantive chief of the area.
Gweshe’s lawyers, Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni legal practitioners, have, however, grown impatient as government drags its feet on the installation process.
They have since given the minister until October 26 by which he should have installed the dreadlocked mbira musician as chief.
According to Section 283 of the Zimbabwean Constitution, the appointment of chiefs is done by the president on recommendation by the minister of Local Government.
“We have received reports that the Mashonaland Central Provincial Chiefs’ Council sat and determined that our client, …Gweshe of Gwangwadza lineage was recommended to be the chief (in the area) currently being presided over by … Chitsinde who is acting Chief Negomo.
“In light of the above, could you kindly take steps to have our client appointed as substantive chief by the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe. We wait to hear from you as soon as possible…,” the law firm wrote.
Moyo could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone number was out of range.
Gweshe has been battling to wrest the chieftainship from Chitsinde at the High Court, arguing that he was the legitimate chief.
Controversies have stalked Negomo throughout his chieftainship.
He rose to notoriety in 2012 when he fined MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai two cattle and two sheep among other penalties for marrying Locadia Karimatsenga-Tembo in November, which he claimed was taboo.
In Zimbabwean folklore, marriages solemnised in the month of November are doomed in the Shona tradition.
Tsvangirai had the fine outlawed by the High Court on appeal.
In 2013, Chitsinde ordered commercial farmer Pip Mattison of Tavydale Farm in Mazowe to pay $1,1 million in compensation to 55 A1 farmers whose crops were destroyed following disturbances brought about by a land dispute.
The verdict was passed as a default judgment after the farmer’s lawyers advised Mattison not to attend on grounds that the traditional leader had no jurisdiction over the matter.
In December 2015, ChiefNegomo was sentenced to three months in prison by the High Court after he failed to repay a loan of $147 000 to CBZ Bank.