Plot to dethrone Chief Marange thickens

HARARE - The Marange dynasty is plotting to dethrone Chief Gilbert Marange amid allegations he has overshot his term of office in an acting capacity and was unduly benefiting from diamonds at the expense of his community.

Marange, who has been acting chief for six years since the death of Noah Ringisai Marange, is accused of overstaying in power, violating the country’s Constitution which provides for a two-year acting period as chief and dabbling in politics.

Names of claimants to the throne have been submitted to the Mutare district administrator but no substantive chief has been enthroned.

Now four rival claimants to the throne Bernard Murwira, Patikai Muchisi, Ben Mahembe and Zvidzai Dzomo, have revived their chieftainship bid and have submitted their names to Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo for consideration.

One of the claimants told the Daily News they were not happy that companies mining diamonds in their area had chosen to build a mansion for Chief Marange while the whole community is wallowing in poverty.

He said government had instructed mining companies in the diamond-rich province to engage in corporate social responsibility programmes that benefit the community and not to empower individuals.

Marange’s rivals also complained that their chief was abusing his authority by demanding livestock from his subjects in return for jobs at the diamond mining companies.

They also allege that Marange was the election manager for Zanu PF  provincial chairman Chris Mushowe in last year’s harmonised elections, in contravention of Zimbabwe’s statutes that outlaws chiefs from politics.

“Marange is also a member of the Zanu PF provincial executive and he has been using his political influence to replace village heads who are resisting his abuse of authority,” one rival said.

Marange admitted to the Daily News that he had indeed overstayed in power but blamed  his relatives for failing to follow traditional rites to ascend to the throne.

He also confirmed that he had a hand in the recruitment of labour for the diamond companies but denied that he had extorted livestock from his subjects in return for jobs.

“Members of the Marange clan are supposed to agree on one candidate who will take over as substantive chief but over the years, they have failed to do that owing to power struggles,” Chief Marange told the Daily News.

“I am the one who recommended that prospective workers be interviewed at the local shops but I did not have direct influence on who was supposed to get a job.”

Marange also confirmed that diamond companies had built a house for him.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.