THE Ndebele kingship wrangle has taken another twist with crown council chairman, Chief Mathema insisting last week they were going ahead with the coronation of South Africa-based Bulelani Colin Lobengula Khumalo as substantive king in March next year despite resistance from other clan members.
BY SILAS NKALA
Mathema said the coronation ceremony will be held on March 3, 2018, although Lobengula family spokesperson Peter Zwide Kalanga Khumalo, has threatened to challenge the move.
The announcement comes at a time Stanley Raphael Khumalo has declared himself King Mzilikazi II, courting the ire of other family members who are disputing his legitimacy.
Said Mathema: “The crown council, on behalf of relevant chiefs and the people they lead, has the pleasure in announcing that His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo is expected to be culturally crowned on March 3, 2018 in a ceremony that will be held in the City of Bulawayo, concluding the first phase of the two-phased process of his ascendancy to the throne.”
He added that the second phase was constitutional, where the people and their political leadership will address the constitutional, legal and political order within which the monarch will operate.
“The completion of this process will make His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Bulelani Lobhengula Khumalo the first legitimate and recognised king since King Lobengula. He will be taking over the throne left vacant after his great, great, great grandfather King Lobengula was dethroned by colonial forces in 1893,” he said.
He said the choice of the coronation date follows wide consultations with stakeholders and is in line with their culture, customs and tradition.
Mathema said the date also gives the people enough time to prepare for the momentous occasion and mobilise the necessary resources.
“The modern search for a crown prince began in 1997 when chiefs, culturalists, historians, academia and community organisations met to set the process in motion. While as chiefs we wish this process was long concluded, we understand and accept that every lead had to be followed and every hole plugged to ensure that the product is acceptable to the generality of the people and consistent with our cultural and customary norms and standards,” he said.
“We are, therefore, satisfied that this choice was arrived at in a way consistent with our cultural values, customs, traditions, practices, historical precedents and due process and have, as such, found nothing objectionable about both the process and outcome. We, therefore, wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who took part in the search and identification.”
Mathema said following receipt of the name of the crown prince, the chiefs established a royal crown trust led by an interim crown council, comprising of chiefs and selected individuals, for purposes of ensuring that the processes are consistent with traditions, cultural values and customs over which the chiefs are custodians.
“Finally, as chiefs, we wish to state categorically that the monarch being revived is not at all meant to replace or otherwise diminish the republican character of the State where sovereign power is held and exercised, in the main, by the elected representatives of the people in a multiparty democratic constitutional order,” he said.
“The monarch will operate side by side and coexist with the elected representatives, as does happen in modern constitutional democracies. The monarch is being revived based on the values of respect for fundamental rights and freedoms; respect of human dignity and equality of all human beings; and respect for the diversity of ethnic groups, beliefs, customs, and cultural practices.”
“The monarch being revived will not be imposed on any individual or linguistic, cultural and ethnic group. All linguistic and cultural communities will continue to live and be governed according to their respective customs, traditions, cultural values and practices.”