Zimbabwe Police Block Installation of ‘Ndebele King’

Zimbabwean police on Tuesday stopped the coronation of a new Ndebele king in the country’s second largest city, Bulawayo, stressing that the country does not have no such constitutional provision.

A letter signed by Chief Superintendent Mthokozisi Manzini-Moyo of Bulawayo Central District indicated that the installation of disputed heir to the Ndebele throne, Raphael Stanley Khumalo, was illegal.

The letter handed to organizers of the event read in part, “Section 274-77 … provides for the establishment of Urban Local Authorities for Rural Areas, their functions and how they are elected, but has no provision for a king or kings. Considering the foregoing it is apparent that there is need for an embracing stakeholders meeting …”

What next … Some people who were outside the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair on Tuesday for the coronation of a ‘Ndebele king’.

Manzini stressed that stakeholders to be taken on board include the provincial assembly of chiefs, national council of chiefs and the minister responsible for traditional leaders.

“I believe that you realize that this is a creation of a new office, a kingdom within the Republic of Zimbabwe. Naturally it is most likely to attract not only national interest but regional if not international interest.

“Despite the fact that the event is scheduled to take place in my areas of jurisdiction, a nationwide stakeholder consultative meeting is called for before the coronation of King Mzilikazi II can take place.”

Some Khumalos are disputing Raphael Stanley Khumalo’s claim to the throne, saying his real surname is Tshuma and not Khumalo.

King Lobengula Khumalo (1845–1894) was the second and last king of the Ndebele people.