ED downgrades Chief Musara to Headman
MASVINGO-President elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has downgraded Chief Musara born Boniface Musara to headman putting to rest a protracted legal wrangle that dates to 2014. Musara was proclaimed Chief by the late former President Robert Mugabe in 2013. The dispute between the two chiefs resulted in violent incidents between subjects.
Part of the letter signed by former Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo, dated August 30, 2023, reads: “Downgrading of Musara Chieftainship to Headmanship under Chief Chikwanda: Gutu District: Masvingo Province.”
“May you be advised that the President, has in terms of section 283 (b) of the Consitution of Zimbabwe approved the downgrading of the Musara Chieftainship to Headmanship with effect from 15 July 2023.
“The downgrading of the Musara Chieftainship to Headmanship follows objections by substantive Chief Chikwanda and subsequent High Court proceedings which directed the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to resolve the Chikwanda-Musara disputes administratively.”
Initially, Chief Chikwanda born Kadiwa Chikwanda challenged the decision, arguing that Ward 32 fell under his jurisdiction. In 2014 he approached the High Court contesting a proclamation that Ward 32 fell under the jurisdiction of Chief Musara. A provisional order was granted in Chief Chikwanda’s favour, setting aside the proclamation., but Musara was appointed substantive chief for that area.
However, High Court Judge, Justice Clement Phiri later heard the matter and discharged the provisional order. He confirmed the presidential proclamation appointing Musara as the substantive chief of the disputed area.
The order of the court reads: “The application for confirmation of the provisional order granted by this Honourable Court be and is hereby dismissed.
“The provisional order granted by this court is discharged. This court holds that the proclamation of Ward 32 under the jurisdiction of the third defendant (Boniface Musara) be and is hereby declared valid,” ruled Justice Phiri.
The court also slapped Chief Chikwanda with an order for costs on a punitive scale. Chief Chikwanda was at one point warned by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing against ignoring the boundaries and interfering with the powers of Chief Musara.
The ministry even threatened the chief with arrest if he continued disregarding the boundaries. Chief Chikwanda disputed Chief Musara’s installation in 2014, claiming the area now under the Musara chieftainship was part of his land.
Musara could not be reached for comment by the time of going to Press.