Former Hellen McGhie head clashes with Nyamandi over chieftainship
MASVINGO – Siyano Machaya is no longer Chief Nyamandi and whatever he says and does is null and void because his acting period ended four years ago in 2019, one of the family elders and former Helen McGhie head Hebert Horuno Nyamandi Zengeya has said.
Zengeya said the 24 families that are heir to the Nyamandi throne sat and selected the new chief Zvagara Masunda in 2021 and that result was endorsed by Government.
He said Masunda was selected in the presence of the District Development Co-ordinator and is therefore chief of the Nyamandi people.
Zengeya, a no nonsense man and one of the best school heads to come out of this country charged in an interview with The Mirror that Machaya is an illegal chief who hangs in the position to serve Zanu PF Lovemore Matuke’s political interests.
He attacked Machaya for refusing his subjects food along political lines and described him as a shame to the people of Nyamandi.
Asked for comment, Machaya said he does not care what the 24 houses of Nyamandi say or think about him because chiefs are now selected and appointed by President Mnangagwa.
“I don’t care about those 24 Nyamandi houses. They don’t matter at all. The chief is now selected and appointed by the President,” said Machaya.
The law allows a chief to act for a maximum of two years after the death of his father. Machaya has been acting for six years following the death of his father, Kokerai Machaya in 2017.
When contacted for comment Matuke, said he had nothing to do with chiefs. In another story last week Machaya said he agreed with Matuke to refuse CCC supporters Government food aid.
Matuke however, denied the allegations and said Government aid was for every citizen.
The Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Winston Chitando under whose purview the chiefs’ fall was in a meeting when contacted for a comment.
Zengeya said successions in the Nyamandi chieftainship were smooth until Matuke who is Senator for Gutu came onto the scene.
“This is the first dispute that we are having in the chieftainship. Previous successions have been smooth. We selected Masunda in the presence of the District Development Coordinator (DDC) and other chiefs,” he said.
Provincial director for Traditional Leaders in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works Ndeya Nyede said …
Analysts who spoke to The Mirror said Machaya was indeed right that the 24 Nyamandi houses are no longer of consequence to the selection of the new chief. They said Mnangagwa has no respect for traditional norms of succession as he now appoints anyone as long as they serve his political interests.
The analysts said Mnangagwa has discarded the Shona tradition of moving the chieftainship from one house to another. With Mnangagwa the Shona chieftainship is now from father to son, said the analysts.
“Zvedzimba izvo ngavachikanganwa vanhu vekwaNyamandi. Machaya unoziva zvaari kutaura. Mambo wava kutsvakwa navaMnangagwa. Potse potse Machaya akatoudzwa kare kuti ndiye ari kuzogadzwa ushe. Kana abva pouya mwana wake. Dzimba dzaNyamandi dzavakungogarira guyo sembwa. Ushe rwaNyamandi rwava rwaMachaya nevana vake,” said an expert on traditional leadership.