GOVERNMENT yesterday installed Grey Sikalelu Muleya as the new Chief Binga at the Bulawayo Kraal Primary School in Binga.
Muleya (73), who becomes the area’s third chief, takes over from the late Siateya Gasta Siakulya, who was appointed Chief Binga in 2000 and died in 2019.
Muleya becomes the fourth chief to be appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa this year.
Officiating at the installation ceremony, Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said Muleya’s installation follows his appointment by Mnangagwa in March this year.
He said the installation was a historic occasion for the BaTonga who subscribe to the matrilineal succession tradition whereby the chieftainship revolves around maternal brothers and nephews of the previous chief.
“The Binga community is part of the BaTonga tribe which is largely dominant here in Binga district. Facts around the Binga Chieftainship indicate that they originated from the Zambezi valley. There is no general historical data prior to the 1940 of Binga chieftainship in the National Archives,” Masuka said.
“However, Binga chieftainship was established when the then Chief Sikalenge decided that his area had become too big and gave an area now under Chief Binga to one Dobola, who became the first Chief Binga (that’s where the name Binga originated).”
Masuka said the succession method in BaTonga culture moves from a brother to a brother or the son of the late chief’s sister in the event that there are no biological or maternal brothers.
“In this regard, Grey Sikalelu Muleya, who is a brother to the late chief was elected by the Binga clan to be the rightful candidate to take the chieftainship. I must, therefore, applaud the Binga people for striving to uphold their customs by ensuring that the deserving incumbent ascends to the throne.
“This brings sanctity and dignity to the office of the chief. As government, we expect that after the death of a chief, family members should observe the necessary traditional rituals and peacefully deliberate on the appropriate candidate to take over the vacant chieftainship post,” he said.
Chief Binga was born on July 6, 1950 and did his elementary education at Bulawayo Kraal School before being employed at Hwange Colliery where he was employed for 42 years.
He is married to two wives and has eight children and 10 grandchildren.
The installation of Chief Binga was attended by local government and public works minister July Moyo, Matabeleland North provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo, Chiefs’ Council of Zimbabwe vice-president Mtshane Khumalo and several traditional leaders.
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