Tendai Kamhungira 20 February 2018
HARARE – Dethroned Zhombe chief David Samambwa has dragged President
Emmerson Mnangagwa to the High Court seeking to nullify his decision to
install his younger brother Samuel as the substantive chief.
Mnangagwa waded into the Samambwa chieftainship wrangle after he dethroned
David, who was installed by his predecessor – Robert Mugabe – over a year
David was appointed chief by Mugabe in October 2016 after his younger
brother Samuel had been “erroneously” installed the previous year.
After serving for nearly one year as chief, David was dethroned by
Mnangagwa, who reinstalled Samuel on the grounds that he was in fact
older than him, contrary to what their national identification cards
In his High Court application, David cited his brother Samuel; the Kwekwe
district administrator, the Midlands provincial administrator, Local
Government minister July Moyo, Mnangagwa and Registrar General Tobaiwa
Mudede, as respondents.
David said the chieftainship of the family goes to the eldest surviving
male in the Samambwa clan. He further said that he is older than Samuel.
According to court papers, David and Samuel’s father was a polygamist, but
David was born in January 1932, while Samuel was born in March of the same
The family, however, failed to find common ground on who was supposed to
be appointed the chief, resulting in David leaving one of the meetings,
which resulted in Samuel’s selection. David later wrote a letter to Moyo
complaining about the proceedings and the outcome of the meeting that
resulted in Samuel’s appointment.
Samuel was subsequently appointed substantive chief in May 2015, but was
removed in December 2015 after David raised questions over the
David said he was then appointed chief by Mugabe in October 2016, before
he was also dethroned by Mnangagwa in December last year.
“Also null and void is the purported appointment on December 19th 2017 of
the first respondent as substantive chief Samambwa by…Mnangagwa, the
current occupant of the office of the fifth respondent,” David said.
He further told the court that the president of Zimbabwe, despite the
change of the person occupying it, cannot have two bites of the cherry, by
purporting to exercise a constitutional power.
“My purported removal as substantive chief and the first respondent
purported appointment to the same are accordingly null and void ab initio.
“There are no more domestic remedies to exhaust. There was no dispute for
the then president of the Republic of Zimbabwe to resolve after he has
appointed me as substantive chief Samambwa on October 20th 2016.
“Likewise, there was no dispute for the current president, the fifth
respondent herein, to resolve. There was no leg which he was standing on
when he purported to revoke my appointment and appoint first respondent to
an office which has an incumbent, more than a year after my appointment,”
The respondents are yet to file a response to the application.