The Mambo Dynasty Trust has set itself on a quest to revive its chieftainships in Matabeleland which they claim were vanquished by King Mzilikazi.
Registered in July 2015, the trust claims it seeks to revive the Lozwi culture by restoring its leadership structures.
According to the organisation, over 90 percent of the population in Matabeleland belongs to the Lozwi tribe.
Addressing the press at the Bulawayo Media Centre on Tuesday,the chairperson of the trust, Mike Moyo said their cause was constitutional as the Lozwi had a right to honour their customs and belief systems.
“Our estimation is that there are 97 percent of Lozwi people in Matabeleland while the reigning chiefs are less than three percent so we need to create balance. Matabeleland South and North provinces are the areas mostly affected. Yes we have engaged authorities starting with previous minister of Local Government, who was Abednico Ncube.
“The authorities are in agreement because the constitution allows them to do that. Besides we are not the first to ask for resuscitation, it has been done in Mashonaland, for Chief Masendu in Plumtree and two or three others,” he claimed.
Moyo, however, emphasised that there were not advocating for the restoration of the Lozwi monarchy.
“The aim is to defend our culture, do research, trace and to rewrite our history, which we feel is laden with too much distortion. We seek to resuscitate all our chiefs who were displaced during the Mzilikazi era in 1838. If you know history, Mzilikazi’s people came into this country in 1838, he followed in 1840. During that time, our chiefs were displaced, some killed and replaced by Nguni speaking chiefs or those that came with Mzilikazi from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa,” he claimed.
Moyo continued: “We know by surnames those who are supposed to be chiefs. Most of the chiefs were Moyos, then came the Ncube, Dube, Ndlovu, Sibanda, Mpofu, Nyoni and Tshuma and Nkomo. During those days, traditional healers were important such as Gumbo who looked after the king. The general was Itumbale, known as Bhebhe,” he said.
The trust has also called for a meeting on Saturday at the Bulawayo City Hall.
“All those with these surnames are invited to the meeting. The main reason is to discuss the processes of appointing chiefs considering that 180 years have passed, with generation after generation coming and going,” said Moyo.
He added that the trust had conducted some consultations with sitting chiefs as well.
“We are not saying the current chiefs must be removed but we are asking for sharing of their jurisdiction. For instance, one can say to Chief Ndiweni (of Ntabazinduna) to share and have a Sibanda ruling in the same jurisdiction. We are not about to displace other chiefs who are reigning,” said the chairperson.
Vincent Makhaza Ncube, another member of Mambo Dynasty, concurred saying it was crucial for them to revive their culture.
“The Lozwi culture had its way of doing certain rituals. We had our own culture, warriors, dances, we used to go to the mountains to ask for rain, we had own marriage ceremonies and in times of diseases, the sangomas would be consulted.
“We are saying 90 percent of the population in Matabeleland is Lozwi and some people have lost their culture. They don’t know about the Mambo King while some are claiming to be Nguni. You find a Sibanda saying he’s Nguni because people are used to the Nguni culture,” he noted.
However, some cultural observers alleged the Mambo Dynasty was reactionary and meantto to challenge the revival of the Ndebele monarchy.
In March the trust challenged the revival of Ndebele monarchy arguing that they were rightful leaders of the land in the region.