BY KENNETH NYANGANI
RECENTLY-APPOINTED Marange village head Zvinonetsa Edward Marange is under fire from villagers who are demanding his removal for allegedly causing mysterious deaths in the area.
It is also alleged that he does not belong to the royal family.
Zvinonetsa was recently appointed village head by Chief Bernard Marange.
Other traditional leaders in the area also claimed that Zvinonetsa’s appointment was not above board as they were not consulted.
There are allegations that since he was appointed, Manhu village started experiencing mysterious deaths, a sign that the ancestors were unhappy.
Manhu Marange’s daughter, Emilia claimed that Zvinonetsa did not belong to the royal family.
“I was there when Zvinonetsa was born, our daughter-in-law (Zvinonetsa’s mother) confessed that the newly-born baby was not of the Manhu Marange clan. She confessed that the father of the child is Stephen Mapfunde after the child had refused to suckle,” Emilia told NewsDay.
“The child refused to suckle for three weeks, hence he was given the name Zvinonetsa (difficulties). He is not from the royal family and does not qualify to head the village,” she added.
Edna Marange also confirmed that Zvinonetsa was not of the royal family.
“Zvinonetsa is not from the royal family, that is why we are now facing challenges in the village such as strange deaths,” she said.
Among several accusations, Zvinonetsa is alleged to have destroyed Ishe Manhu’s grave while performing rituals.
“He was arrested, but was released without charge,” Edna said.
Villagers want Chief Marange to convene a meeting to discuss Zvinonetsa’s issue.
Headman Chikuku, who supervises the area, said he was not consulted by Chief Marange over the appointment of a new village head.
“Zvinonetsa wanted to be a headman for almost 10 years now. I was surprised when I was told by Chief Marange’s son, Solomon, that he was coming to my ward to tell me that I should give a vote of thanks on the installation of Zvinonetsa,” Chikuku said.
He said he did not attend the ceremony.
“We have issues with Zvinonetsa. He has blood in his hands and he was once arraigned before the Mutare Magistrates Courts facing murder charges.”
Villagers said in 2019, a spirit medium Gambidzanwa of Marange revealed that Zvinonetsa was not a Marange descendant at a family event.
Chief Bernard Marange confirmed the appointment of Zvinonetsa and the disagreements over his appointment.
“It is true that we have had some disagreements over Zvinonetsa. The family is saying he is Mapfunde’s son. The murder case is also true, but it happened way back,” Chief Marange said.
He said Zvinonetsa was appointed headman ahead of his seniors Zvidzai Dzoma and Patikai Muchisi.
The pair also reportedly has blood in their hands, resulting in their disqualification.
Chief Marange’s secretary Brighton Marange said he was shocked by Zvinonetsa’s appointment.
“As you are aware, I am the one who is responsible for writing letters on behalf of the chief, but I was shocked that Zvinonetsa was appointed to become a village head,” he said.
Zvinonetsa, however, told NewsDay that he was “clean” and was only involved in the murder case as a witness.
“There were many people involved and these are all lies. I never killed a person,” he said.
Chairman of the Manicaland Chiefs’ Council, Chief Makumbe said: “We follow government policy and we do verification first before commenting. We are waiting for the report, but normally in such issues, there may be bad blood between the villagers.”
Mutare district development co-ordinator Wilson Boore said he was aware of the matter, adding the he would meet the families to find a lasting solution.