Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna, with the aid of known anti-Government activists, yesterday stage-managed an attack on himself by people he claimed to be Zanu-PF youths in Bulawayo.
The chief, who claimed his assailants sought to confiscate his Government-issued vehicle, was pictured pouring petrol all over the car and threatening to burn it if anyone touched it.
The pictures went viral on social media after being published by activists led by Zenzele Ndebele, who recently claimed to have survived a suspicious accident in which all four bolts on the “lower control arm of the front wheel on the left side of my vehicle came off simultaneously”.
A senior Zanu-PF official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, poured cold water on Chief Ndiweni’s claims saying “his story simply does not add up”.
“For starters, it is a known fact that all Zanu-PF structures in Bulawayo were dissolved. How did Chief Ndiweni know that his attackers were Zanu-PF youths; did they identify themselves as such? The pictures that Ndebele posted do not show any Zanu-PF regalia.
“Secondly, how was this attack coordinated, considering that Ndiweni lives in Ntabazinduna and not Bulawayo? How did Zanu-PF youths know where he was in Bulawayo? Did they prophesy his presence in Bulawayo?
“This event was clearly stage-managed and broadcast by Ndebele a few minutes after it allegedly happened. If that is not suspicious, I don’t know what is,” the official said.
Chief Ndiweni has been accused of abusing his position to further the agenda of the opposition MDC-Alliance with Zanu-PF challenging him to step down from the chieftaincy and join mainstream politics.
Apparently angered by the Government’s decision to resettle an indigenous farmer at a farm in Ntabazinduna previously occupied by a white family, Chief Ndiweni last week addressed a Press conference in Bulawayo and called for tougher sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Chief Ndiweni sensationally appealed to the international community to escalate sanctions on President Mnangagwa’s Government, claiming it has failed to pursue democracy.
It is understood that before addressing the Press, Chief Ndiweni wrote to a number of foreign embassies calling for further sanctions to be imposed on Zimbabwe.
He has also set up a parallel organisation to the Chiefs Council under the banner of College of Amakhosi, where he is reportedly seeking to rope in some traditional leaders from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
After the 2018 elections, Chief Ndiweni visited Mr Chamisa to “endorse” the MDC-Alliance leader despite his defeat in the polls at the hands of President Mnangagwa.
Besides his links with the Chamisa-led party, Chief Ndiweni has had liaisons with secessionist movement Mthwakazi Republic.
However, the relationship with the two are said to have suffered a temporary knock after Chief Ndiweni and some colleagues visited Mr Chamisa to update him about the “installation” of a Ndebele King in South Africa.
Zanu-PF Matabeleland North provincial chair Cde Richard Moyo said they are aware of all Chief Ndiweni’s shenanigans.
“He must just join politics and leave the chieftaincy. He should join mainstream politics by joining these political parties that he is aligned to or even form his own and we will show him how winning politics is played, he has no chance against Zanu-PF,” said Cde Moyo.
“In pursuit of a political agenda, he has chosen to advocate for the suffering of the people instead of working towards their development and unity. We know that initially he was running with secessionist movements like Mthwakazi and later we heard he was endorsing Chamisa despite his loss in the 2018 elections.”
Cde Moyo urged traditional leaders to ignore Chief Ndiweni and continue working for the people.
“He has shown his true colours and his destructive politics and I don’t think any self-respecting traditional leader who has their people at heart can follow such kind of behaviour. They should just ignore his attempts to divide the chiefs in the country,” he said.
In a statement on Sunday, Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said Chief Ndiweni’s utterances were inhuman and against Zimbabwe’s cultural beliefs.
‘‘Chief Ndiweni sentiments are deplorable, parochial and ignorant coming from a traditional leader,’’ he said. ‘‘It is tragic that one of those constitutionally expected to uphold our customary values and community cohesion has chosen to not only be a controversial political player, but to repeat a shameful familial history by calling for suffering to be visited upon the people of Zimbabwe.’’