Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT yesterday said failure to document family history (genealogy) among chiefs’ families has contributed to an increase in succession wrangles.
Speaking during the installation of Mr Khumbulani Tshabalala (46) as Chief Tshugulu yesterday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Richard Moyo said it was important for royal families to document their family trees to avoid disputes.
“The increasing cases of succession wrangles being witnessed are a result of lapses in our history, which has to some great measure been passed from one generation to the other orally. Failure by generations to preserve same has seen some villains taking advantage at the expense of culture and tradition,” said Cde Moyo.
“Whereas the primogeniture (of first born child) system of succession which the Ndebele/Nguni use, may be fairly easy to interpret, it goes without saying that you have a duty to safeguard this practice so that generations to come will observe it. This is your way of life and you must be proud to preserve it.”
Cde Moyo said Government was working to bridge gaps between traditional leaders and elected public officials as there has been some concerns that there were unnecessary conflicts between the two parties.
“As Government we take note of the need to link the elected local government structures with the traditional leadership structures so as to avoid tensions and conflicts that have often characterised the two institutions when in fact they are meant to be complementary. Going forward, we shall continue to explore the best ways in which harmony can be ensured and sustained. I strongly believe that as community leaders there is nothing that should hinder mutual co-operation on matters beneficial to our own people,” said Cde Moyo.
He said the onus was on traditional leaders and councillors to ensure they work together for the good of the people.
Minister Moyo said Government was committed to providing adequate food to its citizens most of whom did not harvest anything this past season because of drought.
Cde Moyo said communities should take up Government programmes such as Command Livestock for sustainable development.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Deputy President of the Chiefs’ Council Chief Mtshane said traditional leaders were concerned about the increasing chieftainship wrangles.
Chief Mtshane said while royal family members are fighting, the communities they lead will be suffering.
“As traditional leaders we are not happy that an area can go for more than 10 years without a chief. We want a chief to be installed soon after the death of the incumbent,” said Chief Mtshane. — @nqotshili