via Chombo, Gushungo clan feud escalates – DailyNews Live. 16 June 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – The row between President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo clan and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo is escalating, with the chiefs demanding that the minister’s wings be clipped, after he insisted on the imposition of an unpopular chief.
While the minister was unreachable for comment yesterday, he is accused of trying to impose Matheas Matare as chief of the Beperere clan.
As an acting chief, Mutare stirred a hornet’s nest when he fired all headmen appointed by Chief Zvimba, replacing them with his cronies.
The influential Gushungo clan is reportedly incensed by Chombo’s meddling in internal family affairs, in particular the imposition of chiefs and also the parcelling out of land in the area unfairly.
Chombo, who is one of Mugabe’s right hand men, courted the wrath of the Gushungo clan when he rejected their preferred chief, Harare provincial administrator Alfred Tome, who is backed by Chief Zvimba and his kinsmen.
The chieftainship battle has sucked into its vortex Mugabe, his nephews and some Cabinet ministers.
“Upon the death of Sabina Mugabe, Walter Chidakwa, (minister of Mines and Mining Development) was handpicked by Chombo as the new MP,” said a family member.
With Chombo apparently keen on handpicking his “loyal” chief, Gushungo clan family members told the Daily News that the Local Government minister could be eyeing a berth in the presidium, through the backing of chiefs, who are key in marshalling support for Zanu PF.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Chief Zvimba said the Gushungos, not Chombo, were the custodians of their clan’s chieftainship.
“The issue is not ending because the minister is imposing his will on the people. We are a clan and we know who we want and humambo hunobva kuvanhu huchienda kuministry (chieftainship comes from the people going to the ministry) not the other way round,” Chief Zvimba said.
Chombo wants to impose Matare, who has been the acting chief for the past 15 years in a substantive capacity, a move that the Gushungos, say is designed to perpetuate Chombo’s reign-in Zvimba through proxies.
Chief Zvimba yesterday said “ushe madzoro (chieftainship rotates)” and should not reside in only one person or family.
“He (Matare) has been the acting chief for 15 years and thus he has overstayed his mandate,” Chief Zvimba said.
“He has been there for 15 years and it should be noted that Zvimba has three families and it should rotate among the three. Our customs are very clear that when it is time up, you should leave.”
The role of Chombo in Zvimba forced the Gushungo family, led by flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa, to organise a crisis meeting on how best to deal with the influential minister.
Sources who attended the meeting said Chiyangwa proposed that Chombo be given the mandate to act for and on behalf of the Gushungo clan in matters concerning Zvimba.
Chiyangwa reasoned that if Chidakwa and Chombo were working together, it was important to have their support so as to benefit from platinum mines in the area. He said Chombo could be dealt with later.
But the Gushungos shot down the proposal fearing it was a ploy by Chiyangwa to get more land.
“We are going to come up with our new date on when we are going to install the chief,” said a defiant Chief Zvimba.
“For now, we are waiting to hear from the ministry what they are going to do about our proposal. Chombo is our minister. We have every reason to agree to disagree with him. He is a presidential appointee but he should not impose his views on us. We cannot have a perpetual conflict. This is not about domination. We are the custodians of this chieftain.”