Chipini or Chipeneti? Either way, the State is not involved!

by | May 16, 2021 | Crime & Courts, Local News | 0 comments

Nevanji Nehoreka

Chiefs are the owners of the soil, repositories of their people’s customs, norms and values.
They are by their nature the source of the nation’s history and together with the mediums of the area or families, from the basis of which their jurisdictions are governed.
At law, traditional leaders are expected to perform the following functions:
– to promote and uphold cultural values of their communities, and;
– in particular to cement extended family relations,
– to take measures to preserve the cultural traditions, history and heritage of their community’s sacred shrines.
It is also the duty of traditional institutions to facilitate development in accordance with an Act of Parliament to administer land and protect the environment.
I raise these issues for a reason dear reader.
In the past few days, we have been bombarded with the most ridiculous of notions.
This follows Chief Zvimba, who is of the Gushungo totem summoning former First Lady Grace Mugabe to his court on charges of ‘chipini’ among others.
Most have failed to understand the chipini part are attempting to interpret the issue from an imperialistic perspective.
This has riled many who are thinking in terms of the Roman Dutch Law jurisprudence.

What is instructive is, the late President Mugabe was a member of the Gushungo family. Him and Chief Zvimba were related by blood.
Mugabe being of the house of Beperere and a claimant to the title of Zvimba himself.
Clearly, he knew of the customs of the land and practised them himself.
It is ridiculous for one to claim then that the man desired to be buried in his yard.
We must never forget the furore behind his initial internment place and the arguments that arose.
Grace Mugabe initially wanted to bury the man at Blue Roof Mansion and was only stopped by council by-laws.
A lot happened until the fateful burial which has brought us to this scenario.

There are questions of where was the chief all along? Well those who know tradition and customs will know that we say: chisi hachieri musi wacharimwa( a crime committed against the land is not tried on same day).
They would also be aware that when a crime is committed especially in the burial of an elder and certain cyustoms are not followed, strange and mysterious happenings follow.
When these events occur, there is a process that family members carry out to cleanse the wrong.
The process involves consulting oracles to find out the course.
Without any corroborative evidence, I would like to posit that this happened.
The process is usually done a year to after the death of the elder and this coincides with Grace Mugabe`s invitation to Chief Zvimba`s court.
Burial anomalies ought to be rectified regardless of the status that the family in question holds.
Failure to do so brings misfortune to the land, and the citizen who approached the courts is well within his right to pursue that route.
To argue that Chief Zvimba could have been influenced by The State to lay charges against Grace Mugabe because they want the body of Mugabe buried at an easily accessible place does not even rise to the level of nonsense.
What is even more ludicrous is that there is some tsvimbo( sceptre ) which is being looked for.
Now, let us get it straight, the are chiefs in Zimbabwe who give any sceptre to any politician in Zimbabwe.
If it is a spiritual issue, it would be done by the spirit mediums( mhondoro/makombwe ).
If Robert Mugabe had any such sceptre, it would not be his to hand over to anyone. Those who handed him the sceptre, dead or alive would have guided how it was handled.
It would have been nearly impossible to be buried with it.

It is clear mischief for anyone to suggest that President Mnangagwa needs a sceptre from a dead Mugabe to be able to rule this country.
That it is being made by people who should be guiding lights, but instead are pushing this ritualistic nonsense only betrays their own beliefs.
That Prof. Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao are leading this charge based on the fact that a man from President Mnangagwa’s office accompanied the man who brought the summons is not only childish but utter hogwash.
The two conveniently want to divert people from the fact that Grace Mugabe as a former First Lady has her issues handled by said office.

Clearly the two gentlemen did not learn much from all their years in Government.
Clearly they do not understand that Statecraft does not include sceptres and such the like.
Voodoo is not part of Statecraft and can only exist in the heads of bitter and sore losers.
How would a person who has already won an election, scored major victories economically and socially be fixated with some so-called sceptre which seem to be known only by those mischief makers?
How do they trivialize the role of traditional leaders, the national leadership and statecraft to sceptres?
For their free education, a sceptre in African culture means the ruler will rule justly not that it has some mythical powers.
It is purely sumbolic.
A king who wields a spear means he will lead you to war, an axe that he will rule you harshly and will bring death to you.
So a “tsvimbo” represents justice not some ability at economic revival. Sadly the two supposedly learned but clear believers of hocus-pocus seemed to have missed this obvious thing.
It is also lost on the two that Mugabe was a Jesuit trained and educated Catholic who modelled his behaviour around being a man of great tastes and sophistication.
He certainly would not have been inclined to believe in tsvimbos nor would he have carried one. He was never seen with one unless these two gentlemen knowsomething we do not know.

That Zhuwao, a nephew of Mugabe and therefore of Chief Zvimba would go on international television to make a spectacle not only of himself as a PhD student but of Zimbabwe is unbelievable.
Had I not seen it, I would have thought it is made up.
It would have been prudent to him to shut up than talk. He knows the customs of the Zvimba dynasty, knows that his sekuru wished to be buried next to his mother.
He knows he should not have been buried in his courtyard and he knows he should not be ridiculing his sekuru’s dynasty in order to score cheapshots against President Mnangagwa.
Bitterness is a cancer and it eats you up from within.

For people to conveniently forget that the State did not force Grace Mugabe into anything but gave in to any of her demands and even when she changed her mind went along with her is naughtiness of a childish kind.
I do not know how and why they think that after turning around the Zimbabwean economy and with predictions from all being that it will only get better Mnangagwa needs a stick to rule a country or ensure his victory.

That chipini was committed by burying former President Mugabe in house is certain, that it goes against the customs of Zvimba is another certainty.
This is why no one is arguing that fact but instead trying to shift blame.
Zhuwao and company would be better advised to look for the cows and goat demanded by the chief for the crime is there indeed and its proof certain.
Blaming the bringing of a case by a member of the family to a court of the family on the State and especially using some voodoo theory is downright madness.

Our customs and norms must not be looked at as fetishism because we have a personal agenda against someone.
Instead of these learned chaps promoting the role of the chiefs, they are busy mocking them. I understand Prof. Moyo, for he is a man of loose morals, but for Zhuwao to drag himself into lampooning his uncle is reprehensible!

So chipini or chipeneti? Whatever the case may be, the State is not involved! How would it have been involved or invoke a custom which does not involve National laws? And to benefit what?
Chiefs are able to rule over their jurisdictions competently, they do not need state assistance in that regard.