The recent installation of a new leader of the Mambo dynasty has riled some Ndebele traditional leaders who have viewed the event as an attempt to cause divisions among the Ndebele nation.
This comes after the government blocked the installation of a Ndebele king but seemingly allowed the installation of a Mambo king whose dynasty ended before the arrival of King Mzilikazi .
The installation of the Mambo King took place Saturday at Mawabeni, Esigodini area at the homestead of the Chairperson of the Mambo Dynasty Trust, Mike Moyo, who claims he is a direct descendant of King Mambo.
Moyo was installed the Mambo King and the installation coincidentally took place on the same day as the annual King Mzilikazi Commemorations at Mhlahlandlela Memorial Site (22km away from Bulawayo, using Old Gwanda Road).
The festivities were attended by Chief Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna, Chief Mathema of Gwanda, Chief Siphoso of Tsholotsho and Chief Nyangazonke of Matobo including the Ndebele king designate Bulelani Lobhengula.
Addressing the crowd at the King Mzilikazi commemorations, Hlangabeza Khumalo, a prince in the Mzilikazi Royal House, warned people to be wary of those who wanted to divide and rule the Ndebele nation.
“The Ndebeles are not a tribe, it is a nation which consists of various tribes. It is not made from one grouping but various groups. No one must say I belong to the Ndebele tribe. How can that be when we have many tribes? Mzilikazi founded a nation not a tribe,” he said.
Khumalo said on that basis, they responded to an invitation to attend the Mambo Dynasty event.
“Under the Ndebele nation, those with animal totems are our people too and the kingdom founded by Mzilikazi would not exist without them. Mzilikazi had a vision of united nation not one that was dependent on demarcations, as the Ndebele nation is all over,” the prince explained.
It is on that basis that Khumalo said they made a brief stop at the Mambo event, which was allegedly well attended by other chiefs from Mashonaland.
“When we saw the advertisement inviting all people who have animal totems we thought if there is a gathering of our people, we must pass there and say hello. When there’s an important event somewhere and knowing what we stand for the Ndebele Kingdom, we could not pass by without greeting them and since it was on our way, we did so,” he narrated.
But to their surprise, Moyo was introduced to them as the Mambo king.
“Moyo then introduced his wife, MaNdiweni as the queen. We were surprised and taken aback since we thought it was a different type of event and we had even told him that we just want to enjoy the festivities briefly before leaving for Mhlahlandlela,” Khumalo said.
In an interview with CITE on the sidelines, Chief Mathema said the installation of a Mambo king could be an attempt to diffuse the Ndebele monarchy.
“Perhaps it is a way of testing who has more numbers or it could be a ploy to destroy the rise of the Ndebele monarchy. But such side shows do not help anyone as people can see and are aware of the machinations at play,” he noted.
Chief Mathema said the Ndebele monarch was well documented in history and was real such that for people to downplay it was futile
“We were also invited, told fuel would be provided to and from. People can rush there eat plenty meat, drink a lot of beer and be entertained by bands but they know the truth.
“The Ndebele monarchy is part of a rich history and records have been documented. This history cannot be swept away because some don’t want it to happen. I mean there is nothing wrong if some people want to praise their ancestral spirits, as well have different ancestors but they cannot rewrite history, ” Chief Mathema said.
Last year, the Mambo Dynasty Trust, held a heritage event at the Large City Hall where Moyo said they were on a quest to revive its chieftainships in Matabeleland who would share their jurisdictions with Ndebele chiefs.
Moyo had said the chiefs were made up of those who had animal surnames or totems.
He claimed that over 90 percent of people in Matabeleland provinces are Lozwi and they had a right to be led by their rightful chiefs.