Traditional Leaders Are Vital Cogs For Development 

by | Apr 15, 2023 | Crime & Courts, Local News | 0 comments

Traditional Leaders Are Vital Cog For Development


Staff Reporter


Traditional leaders bring government closer to communities and are a vital cog in making sure societies they preside over are more accessible, responsive and accountable, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.


The President was speaking during the installation of Dambisamahubo Mafu as Chief Maduna, at Dekezi High School, Insiza District, Matabeleland South Province.


He said traditional leaders are key institutional components in development, as they nurture people-driven and grassroots innovations with regard to improving the quality of lives of communities.


“It is through our traditional leaders that Government is brought closer to communities, to make it more accessible; responsive and accountable.


“This reinforces community resilience anchored by our traditional leaders, who are the custodians of our land, culture and natural resource endowments of our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe,” he said.


He also said as the country journey towards the realisation of Vision 2030, his administration will continue to champion and promote development programmes and projects that leave no one and no place behind.


“More importantly, as an ex-officio member of the Insiza Rural District Council, I trust that Chief Maduna will be a motivation and provide the requisite guidance in the implementation of initiatives under the Devolution and Decentralisation



“The concerns of the community must always be advanced and their priority issues are given due attention,” he said.


He commended the people of Insiza for the smooth and swift manner in which they handled the succession matter.


“Today, we honour and pay tribute to the late Chief Vezi Maduna who passed on, on 13 February 2021, for his consistency and persistence in the fight against the colonial rule to bring about dignity and Independence for our people. May his soul continue to rest in eternal peace,” said the President.


Born in the Kaizen Godlwayo Communal Lands in Insiza, Chief Maduna is a holder of a Chartered Accounting Certificate from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration of Southern Africa and a Diploma in Education from Hillside Teachers College.


He served our country in the education sector, where he taught in several schools, including at St Joseph’s and also worked at companies such as Netcom Solutions, World Vision South Africa, Amtec Motors and Wilsgroove Ware Pottery.


He held senior managerial positions in some of these companies as Accounting Manager, as well as Finance and Human Resources Manager.


Following his retirement, he is now an established farmer, here in Insiza.



Brief Background


The Maduna Chieftainship is passed down from the father to the eldest son.


It derives its roots from the Nguni tribe who migrated from South Africa in the 1850s, led by Dambisamahubo Mafu the great-great-grandfather of Chief Maduna as the Godlwayo Regiment leader.


Settling first in the Malungwane area in Umzingwane District, the Maduna clan later moved to the Nyoni area in Insiza District where they are still settled up to this day.


The Maduna Chieftainship was established around 1880 with Mthikani Mafu, who commanded the Spear Battalion of the Godlwayo regiment, being the first Chief Maduna. He was also married to King Lobengula’s sister, Makwa Khumalo.


At his demise, the Chieftaincy was handed down to his eldest son, Ndunazofanini Mafu, and then to Sikhathi Jim Mafu in March 1936.


During this time, the Pioneer Column had settled in Matabeleland and the incumbent Chief was subjected to the racist colonial white settler regime.


This period was also characterised by arbitrary removals, suspensions and reinstatements of Chiefs across the country.


Following the death of Chief Sikhathi Jim Mafu in 1969, local Chiefs, Headmen and Elders decreed that Vezi Maduna Mafu, his firstborn son, becomes the Acting Chief.


He was subsequently confirmed on 7 July 1974.


During his tenure, he was arrested and detained due to his strong views, political activism and resistance to colonial rule.


He suffered the same fate as his father, who was constantly subjected to indiscriminate suspensions and removals by the oppressive white minority administration.


After Independence, the Government of majority rule re-appointed him as Substantive Chief Maduna on 5 August 1980.


The late Chief’s eldest son was appointed as Acting Chief. In keeping with their succession culture and tradition, the family selected Dambisamahubo Mafu to be substantive Chief Maduna on January 23, 2023.