A NEWLY-FORMED Bulawayo-based civic organisation, Nyanda, has condemned the government over the manner in which traditional chiefs are installed saying it undermines traditional values and cultural norms in which chieftainships were founded.
Nyanda chairperson, Geneva Sibanda, said his organisation would push for the restoration of cultural norms and values as founded in each and every part of the country on how chiefs should be installed.
“Our organisation was formed to fight the current systems which adversely affect each and every area’s traditional and cultural values, especially considering the way our chiefs are installed,” Sibanda said.
“Our culture has been distorted as Zimbabweans. Chiefs are now made to be answerable to politicians.
“We expect the installation of chiefs to be done by senior chiefs than to have civil servants such as ministers making chiefs kneel in front of them to be installed,” he said.
Sibanda said that was wrong and had destroyed cultural values because even President Robert Mugabe should kneel in front of a chief and not for the other way round.
“We expect our ministers to bow down to our chiefs and these are some of the things which our organisation seeks to pressure the government to change because cultural and traditional violations have affected many parts of the country,” he said.
Nyanda treasurer Latifa Sibongile Banda said chiefs used to control the setting under which people settled in all parts of the country, but the government had taken control making it difficult for chiefs to properly allocate land.
“This has seen people settling on grazing land. We want to have a situation where anyone who settles in a certain area adapts to the cultural norms and values under which that community is founded and not bring their own culture that contradicts the way people in that area live,” Banda said.
Sibanda said Nyanda was formed in 2013 although it is yet to be officially lunched. He is deputised by former National Healing, Integration and Reconciliation co-minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu.
The late former deputy mayor of Bulawayo Alderman Charles Mpofu, who died last Sunday, was a founding member of the organisation.
“Nyanda has realised that political parties are only concerned with harnessing power but ignoring people’s interests,” Sibanda