A Gokwe clan is suing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Local Government Minister July Moyo following the ordination of a chief it claims is from the wrong royal lineage.
The disputed chief is Mafioni Rikonda who was ordained Chief Masuka in Gokwe South. His close relatives are challenging the appointment.
The matter is now before the High Court and Mnangagwa is being sued together with Moyo and Rikonda.
Martin Masuka and family members of Rikonda, Nemaringa, and Gwenjera houses recently filed a joint urgent chamber application at the High Court, arguing that Rikonda’s appointment as Chief Masuka was in violation of the Constitution.
The applicants want Rikonda’s appointment revoked and a meeting for the provincial assembly of chiefs convened urgently and review its decision, and appoint a legitimate Chief. The application before the High Court reads:
The person appointed as substantive Chief Masuka in Gokwe South District is not allowed to be appointed as Chief Masuka by the ‘prevailing traditional practices and traditions’ of the Masuka people/tribe as he is not from the permissible senior generation of ‘fathers’ of the Rikonda House.
The applicants argued that according to the tradition of the Masuka clan, the eldest surviving person from the three royal families should take up the chieftainship, and in this case, it falls on Martin Masuka. They said:
What this means is that wherever a chief is to be appointed from any of the three royal families, the eldest surviving person in that particular house automatically becomes chief.
In this case, it is the Rikonda House that should take up the chieftainship, so the eldest in the Rikonda House must take the chieftainship.