Ndebele descendant Peter Zwide Khumalo says government has failed to preserve Ndebele cultural sites and norms after it failed to take legal action against a group of suspected ex-Zanla members who unlawfully performed a cleansing ceremony near Njelele shrine in Matobo last week.
Khumalo told Radio Dialogue that it is government’s duty to work with local leadership in Matabeleland South to protect cultural and sacred places such as the Njelele shrine.
“The problem with our Cabinet is that activities in the country for building up nationhood are rather skewed in the sense that they are not focusing on important issues that relate to ubuntu they focus a lot more on politics that reinforce and protect their own positions as politicians and people within a political framework,” Khumalo said.
“I feel therefore that Cabinet has not done enough and we probably don’t have much hope that they will do anything for us in the future because there are lot of political activities that are keeping them too busy to focus on issues that are important to people at grassroots level.”
Khumalo said it is important for the parties in government to pay attention to aspects that assist the electorate that they depend on, failure to which may lead to the voting population abandoning them in the upcoming elections.
Zipra War Veterans Trust chairperson Baster Magwizi said the move by suspected Zanla members to continue invading the rain making shrine without approval by local traditional leaders is likely to fuel tribal clashes. He said no one has the right to invade cultural places in the region to perform unsanctioned ceremonies.
“We need to meet with the traditional leaders and other positive voices for a peaceful resolution of issues, if somebody erred in the past and is being haunted, they should make it known so that they may be assisted,” Magwizi said.
“The approach of invading (the shrine) that has been taken is likely to create more problems and has the potential to fuel ethnic clashes.”
Matobo South legislator, Gabriel Ndebele said traditional leaders have been rendered powerless by the ex-Zanla members and should call for assistance from politicians to help stop the group from conducting rituals and cleansing ceremonies at the Njelele site.