Khumalo clan to engage govt over Ndebele ‘king’

The Royal Crown Trust and the Khumalo clan in Matabeleland will now engage government over the public coronation of Ndebele king, Bulelani Colin Khumalo, after the State blocked his purported installation in March 2018.

BY SILAS NKALA

The remarks were made by the Royal Crown Trust chairman Chief Mathema on Friday last week.

This comes in the wake of calls by Matabeleland activists for the public and official crowning of Bulelani after he was privately installed in 2018.

Supporting the idea of a public coronation of the king, Chief Mathema said: “We are now waiting for the courts as another aspirant, Peter Zwide Khumalo, took us to court. After the courts, we shall then persuade the government to see eye-to-eye with us.”

Plans to have Bulelani publicly crowned came after government allowed the official public unveiling and installation of the Mambo dynasty King Mike Moyo at a ceremony that was held in Mawabeni, Matabeleland South last year.

The Khumalo clan and Ndebele chiefs in March 2018 had fully prepared to conduct the coronation of King Bulelani at Bulawayo’s Barbourfields Stadium, but government blocked the process through the courts.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese ruled that there was no law in the country allowing the establishment of a monarch.

Chief Mathema filed an urgent chamber application challenging the government’s decision to declare the coronation illegal and unconstitutional.

Earlier, Local Government minister July Moyo had ordered the planned coronation to stop.

After the ban, the coronation had to be done at a private venue.

Matabeleland activists have accused government, especially Moyo, of being biased by allowing the Mambo dynasty to be revived, while blocking the Ndebele monarch installation.

Bulawayo-based political commentator Dumisani Nkomo said it was within the cultural rights of any group to crown a king.

“There are queens and kings in the United Kingdom, Holland and Monaco, so there is nothing amiss or new or old or indeed out of order about this,” Nkomo said.

Church and Civic Society Joint Forum national chairman Anglistone Sibanda said although the public coronation of a Ndebele king was a noble idea, government feared the rise of a Ndebele nation that might push for cessation, while a Ndebele monarchy could also be a threat to “the tribal hegemony agenda that frames the structure, systems and mindsets of those in charge”.