MDC Alliance youths in Bulawayo have called on the government to launch an urgent investigation into alleged attempts by unidentified people to physically attack Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni in the city centre on Wednesday.
The outspoken traditional leader was allegedly attacked by a group of people who sought to repossess a vehicle he was given by the government.
Chief Ndiweni reportedly poured fuel on the vehicle, saying he would set it ablaze if anyone attempted to forcibly take it.
The party’s provincial youths held a press conference at their offices, Thursday, where they described the attack as a sign of disrespect.
Youth Assembly Provincial Organising secretary and Ward 9 councillor, Donaldson Mabutho said the government needs to investigate the case as a matter of urgency.
“The government needs to launch an immediate investigation into the matter. It deserves to be taken as a matter of urgency. We need to respect chiefs and our senior citizens. This incident was a violation of our moral credentials.,” said Cllr Mabutho.
He dismissed accusations that Chief Ndiweni is advancing the MDC Alliance agenda citing that chiefs are non-partisan.
“Utterances that he (Chief Ndiweni) is pushing the MDC agenda are unfounded. He is just advancing the agenda of the people. He is non-partisan is only doing what is best for the welfare of the people,” he said.
The Secretary General of the provincial youth assembly, Pashor Sibanda, said chiefs are custodians of tradition and culture not only in Matabeleland but in the whole country and it is disturbing to see such people coming under attack from rowdy people.
“It is very much disturbing to hear that some rowdy, rogue elements suspected to be ZANU-PF youths have attacked one of our chiefs. The attack is a clear statement by Mnangagwa regime of their intention to continue to pursue their Gukurahundi agenda which was led on in the 80s as a way of silencing progressive voices,” said Sibanda.
“We may have different ideologies but Chief Ndiweni is our chief and must be respected. We have no doubt he is being harassed by ZANU-PF because of his strong support of his people. He stands with the people he leads, feels the pain of his people. He has been long hated by the party because of his uprightness.”
Sibanda encouraged Chief Ndiweni to remain strong in standing with the people of Matabeleland.
“We encourage him to remain fighting for the national cake slice for his sheep. He must fight the biased policies of ZANU-PF and its corrupt activities,” said Sibanda.
ZANU-PF officials have since said Chief Ndiweni must just join politics and leave the chieftaincy. They cited that he was initially running with secessionist movements such as Mthwakazi Republic Party and went on to endorse opposition leader Nelson Chamisa despite losing the 2018 elections.