CHIREDZI – Chiredzi East MP Denford Masiya has vowed to fight against the renewal of the Neromwe chieftainship in defiance of a pronouncement made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to restore the traditional crown.
Masiya who is a Shangani told mourners gathered at Chief Tshovani’s ceremonial burial on Friday last week that he was not going to rest until his people take back their land from the Neromwe chieftainship.
This, he said, would fulfil the late Chief Tshovani’s wish and struggle during the later part of his life.
“We the Shangani people are the owners of this land and we know that some of you here came and claimed our land. Who do you think you are? Even my brother (Chief Tshovani) here died fighting for that issue,” said Masiya.
Mnangagwa restored the Neromwe chieftainship in 2018 which is said to have survived in the 18th century but was dismantled during the time of colonialism. The first Chief Neromwe who is of the Gumbo totem Clemence Mudzingwa was installed the same year.
The late Chief Tshovani has a pending case in the courts where he was fighting against the restoration of Neromwe which he alleged took away land that was under him. The land now under Neromwe was largely a commercial farming area for whites until the land reform programme in 2000.
“Neromwe claimed land which is not his. Who is he, he is not Shangani and he came from nowhere to claim part of Chief Tshovani’s area of jurisdiction.
“The matter is before the courts and they will decide and we know we will win,” said Masiya.
Chiredzi District Development Coordinator (DDC), Lovemore Chisema could not comment directly on the matter but said that Government appointed a commission of inquiry to look into Chief Neromwe’s issue after Neromwe claimed that he was the rightful chief for the area.
“When issues like that happens Government usually appoints a commission of inquiry to look into the issue. The Government’s interest will be to establish the facts of the matter,” Chisema told The Mirror.
Chief Neromwe could not be contacted for comment.
Five of the seven chiefs in Chiredzi five are Shangani, one is Ndau while Neromwe is the only Shona chief. The shangani chiefs are Sengwe, Tshovani, Chilonga, Gezani, and Mupapa. Gudo is Ndau.