Breaking News

The Chief can do no wrong

by L Dube
25 August 2019 | 1860 Views
In Nguni "inkosi ayoni" the Chief can do no wrong. This is derived from the concept that all decisions made by the Chief represent the collective wisdom and aspirations of his people. Unlike a Judge the Chief in Nguni culture does not make the ultimate decision by himself. He listens to inkundla headed by senior villagers just as Mncumbatha Khumalo was the Chief Induna during the Great King Lobhengula's time. Therefore to imprison the Chief is equivalent to the imprisonment of the culture, the customs, the language, the values and the  community. In essence it is not Chief Ndiweni who is in prison but our culture and aspirations. He is the embodiment and the epitomisation of isizwe. That is the reason why at Ntabazinduna, the first step that King Mzilikazi took was too dethrone the chiefs of their positions before the sentence was executed. It is the same reason which led the Great King , ULobhengula WaMawaba to set his Bulawayo Capital on fire and be never captured. Had the King been captured that would have represented the ultimate humiliation of the Great state. It also explains why the Ndebele warriors are counted among only the three African armies (the other two are the Zulus at the Isandlwana battle and the Majimaji) to have defeated the British in battle. The Allan Wilson patrol had to be defeated to avert the capture of the King and the brave warriors faced death and danced with it.


The British were completely overrun by the assegai! The Government must therefore know that by imprisoning the Chief over such an issue, they have in essence imprisoned the entire nation of the Nguni.  Thus why a Presidential pardon could be an act of nation building.

The magistrate used very unrestrained language. To characterize a Chief as a barbarian is tantamount to a wholesome defilement of the entire Nguni nation. Maybe being Shona, the magistrate has no appreciation of Nguni culture or probably harbours a deep resentment of the Nguni people. The courts should desist from inflaming tribal passions and divisive pronouncements that stereotype a people. We are proud of our culture. We seek to be no other people but ourselves, but we will never be barbarians except in tribalistic courts. As alluded to earlier on the Chief is the voice of the community and sitting as a Court the inkundla expresses the collective view of the community through consensus. It is not the Chief's decision but that of the Community. The Chief listens. The community listens and speaks. The community decides.

The victim in this case is a Mr Mbele. The facts around the issue have been repeated countless times. Suffice to note that it was Mr Mbele on his own volition who approached the Chief and requested that his Court makes a decision on his wife's shenanigans. This point which has been missed by the Twitter lawyers is important. Mr Mbele had the choice of resolving the issue on his own, but he decided to have it ventilated through the Chief's Court. At that point he lost  the right to decide the way forward as he had abrogated those rights to the Chief's court. It is the same principle that applies when a reckless parent reports their child to the police for theft of a cellphone. The child is at the mercy of the courts and it will be a messy arrangement were parents to decide thereafter to disregard the Court judgement. My understanding which I have no reason to doubt given my intimate knowledge of the Nguni traditions is that the initial judgement was for Mr Mbele to send the wife back to her parents. This was not an act of divorce but a call for a serious discussion and counseling of the wife involving the in-laws. This explains the popular Nguni proverb that says "Uzidle uzibeka amathambo''. The in-laws were expected to send a delegation to inquire on why the wife had been sent back. In short both families would be involved bamkhuze. This is a tried and tested method of deescalating the conflict thus why in olden days spousal murders were rare as indoda yayisala ibhodla. Obviously to the Shona magistrate, these old Nguni traditions are barbarism. Mr Mbele took his wife back without following that procedure, obviously in an effort to prevent ihlazo that comes with the process which is a cleansing, justice, truth telling, reconciliation and forgiveness ritual.  This is part of building strong communities based on true love and forgiveness.

From time immemorial the authority of the Chief has always depended on the respect of his word. King Mzilikazi the greatest warrior in King Shaka's empire could not be spared the moment he went against the King's authority and barely survived the onslaught. King Shaka's love for the then Chief Mzilikazi Khumalo saw him sending at least three emissaries to the Chief with no success to dissuade him from the path of confrontation.  In Nguni we say Inkosi kayiphikiswa. The day the Chief's word is disregarded, his judgments ignored, his counsel mocked, and his throne disrespected, that day means sekuphume elinye ilanga elinye lingakatshoni. He ceases to be the Chief. It was therefore a great sign of disrespect for the entire community for Mr Mbele to laugh at the Chief's judgement. This explains the high number of villagers that visited his homestead and demanded that he be banished from the village. It was not barbarism but a collective revulsion by the community at the contemptuous snide by the Mbele family.   

The true position is that the Chief and his subjects destroyed the kraal and the fence estimated at three hundred dollars in value. They did not burn down the homestead of Mr Mbele. This is a creation of the twitter brigade. It is clear that many hands were involved in this case as it should not have reached this level of attrition. The Chief also forgot that Isilo siyafinyeza inzipho. This means as a powerful Chief it is sometimes necessary to show mercy mingled with justice. Therefore it will appear that the destruction of the kraal should have been preceded by calling back Mr Mbele to explain his contempt for the Chief's order. It is amazing that the same Courts have no hesitation jailing those accused of contempt of court. The destruction of the kraal was a symbolic expression of the power of the Chief and the equivalent of jailing for contempt of Court. Indoda yisibaya. The expectation was for Mbele to respond by apologizing to inkundla and taking visible steps to assure the village that the shenanigans of the wife had been fully atoned for, for example by inviting the elders from the wife's family to approach the Chief's court to apologize and the wife openlyact  vowing never to wander again. What the magistrate failed to understand is that the adultery was committed against the community and not against the husband only. Therefore the entire community was aggrieved and the resolution of the issue could not exclude the community. Thus how the law of barbarians works!

The jailing of Chief Ndiweni is a malicious and uncalled for act that will permanently offend the nation. In fact the magistrate risks the wrath of the Great ancestors of the sacred throne. It cannot be a matter taken lightly to imprison the symbol of Nguni culture except for criminality. Amadlozi ayahlanekela. It will not end well unless it is urgently addressed. The Chief did not commit a crime but followed all the cultural expectations and traditions of our forefathers. The worst that the judgement could have done was to review and set aside the decision. The action taken by the magistrate appears simple but it is so complicated especially as she resorted to derogatory descriptors as the background music for the judgement. I encourage the Government to do the right thing and free the Chief. It is not true that there was malicious intent or that he is barbarian. We cannot build a nation by celebrating divisive acts. The entire Nguni community in return for the freedom of the Chief - an act of insult and humiliation - is prepared to pay back Mr Mbele one hundred times whatever damages he purports to have suffered. This is not entirely about Chief Ndiweni. It is wholly about the throne that he sits on. The sacred throne of Ntabazinduna. The place where the Great King and visionary, King Mzilikazi asserted his authority and reunited the nation. It is the place of the genesis of the Great Mthwakazi nation. It may seem the Government has won. Yet this is the greatest and unnecessary own goal. It is as if the magistrate intended to create an unbridgeable gulf between the Government and the people of Matabeleland over a destroyed kraal.

Olendlebe uzwile.

L Dube Chief Ndiweni

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: L Dube


Latest News

Ryan Bukevicz helps the Hope Bilingual Academy in Nicaragua during des...

by Staff Reporter | 17 September 2019 | 63 Views

Arrested 'Zimbabwean' millionaire swaps jail for a swanky Maserati in SA

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 8828 Views

Bosso settle for British coach - AILING Bulawayo giants Highlanders wi...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1079 Views

'Dr Magombeyi's 'abduction' the work of a third force' - GOVERNMENT on...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 901 Views

Teacher takes home $24 after maintenance deductions - A well-known tea...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1276 Views

507 Nigerians leave South Africa

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 1620 Views

Arsenal fumbles a 2-point lead to a draw against Watford

by Staff Writer | 17 September 2019 | 307 Views

Competition and Tariff Commission under fire

by Nicholas Ncube | 17 September 2019 | 793 Views

Kings and Mambos must be careful

by Presia Ngulube | 17 September 2019 | 1532 Views

Govt pisses on the graves over Mugabe

by Zororo Shumba | 17 September 2019 | 3294 Views

Jonathan Moyo reveals Zimbabwe's abduction team

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 10092 Views

Abductions choreographed ahead of Mnangagwa's UNGA meeting - Deputy Ch...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1818 Views

Chamisa linked councillors snub Bulawayo budget meeting over Kambarami...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1414 Views

Fresh calls for price controls - INDUSTRIALISTS and economists have sa...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1360 Views

Witchcraft accusations land woman in court

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 809 Views

Suicide cases rise - The African Institute for Ending Bullying Depress...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 415 Views

Gweru sued over shoot-to-kill policy on stray dogs - THE Gweru City Co...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 265 Views

Police shoot car's wheels to stop smuggler - BEITBRIDGE police on Satu...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1442 Views

Tendai Biti led team queries 'rogue' RBZ payments - Parliament yesterd...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 779 Views

'Teachers' unions pursuing political agenda' - Teachers' unions that a...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 347 Views

Doctors paralyse Zimbabwe hospitals - ZIMBABWE's public health deliver...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 855 Views

ZANU PF scores own goal - Yet another own goal scored by Ruling ZANU P...

by ZHRO Team | 17 September 2019 | 1620 Views

BREAKING: ZBC CEO granted bail

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 985 Views

Sibusiso Moyo's statement on the abduction of Dr Peter Magombeyi

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 2810 Views

Harare house burns with US$200 000 inside

by Mandla Ndlovu | 17 September 2019 | 3840 Views

Mnangagwa panics over Paul Siwela TV interview - According to informat...

by Israel Dube | 17 September 2019 | 3581 Views

Mnangagwa's ex-aide denied bail again - A HARARE magistrate yesterday ...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 601 Views

Mnangagwa, Mugabe T-shirts divide mourners - ZANU-PF factional fights ...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1894 Views

Tagwirei, Wadyajena square off in US$3,6m dispute - The High Court wil...

by Staff reporter | 17 September 2019 | 1601 Views


Hip-hop top 10 spansers

by Staff Writer | 12 September 2019 | 943 Views

Victoria Falls cancels Babes Wodumo gig over xenophobia

by Mandla Ndlovu | 12 September 2019 | 1584 Views

Harare Wellness Festival a huge success

by Mandla Ndlovu | 09 September 2019 | 647 Views

BREAKING: Dr Malinga cancels Skyz Metro FM gig over xenophobia

by Mandla Ndlovu | 05 September 2019 | 1882 Views

Mlindo the Vocalist fears xenophobic attacks in Zimbabwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 04 September 2019 | 7906 Views

Green dupes Bindura fans - AFRO FUSION musician Carlos Green aka "vaku...

by Simbarashe Sithole | 01 September 2019 | 825 Views

Top 5 PS2 ISOS to play with friends you can get right now

by Staff Writer | 21 August 2019 | 404 Views

Rebecca Malope retires

by Mandla Ndlovu | 20 August 2019 | 6620 Views

Samsung Gear Vr Innovator Edition For S6: The Perfect Vr Intro For Professionals

we're drenched in talk about the impending wave of consumer-facing vr headsets about to hit the market, starting at the end of 2015. by contrast, you can walk into a best buy right now and pick up the samsung gear vr innovator edition for the galax... Read More
Sergey 20 June 2015 ago

Apple Watch Teardown Reveals Unique Hardware And Replaceable Parts

The apple watch may not be fine jewelry, but bill detwiler cracks it open and shows you why he thinks it's a fine piece of tech. the apple watch may be beautiful on the outside, but how about on the inside? in this cracking open installment, we go in... Read More
Sergey 11 June 2015 ago