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Charumbira clan accuse Fortune of sleeping on the job, resulting in family now landless

Elders in Chief Fortune Charumbira’s home area have expresssed disquiet over the manner the latter puppishly allowed his people to lose land in the process falling from being a royal family to mere peasants.

As a result Charumbira is now a chief in name only is he has no area to lord over.

“In fact, Chief Charumbira is a chief only in Sadc where he heads a chief’s council,” said one village elder who requested anonymity. “He is like a rebel with no cause, a chief with no Indians.

“In our village, Charumbira is no longer a chief as he only has two wards to lord over, Ward 11 and Ward 12. In fact, Ward 12 is just a half ward, and does not constitute a full ward at all.”

Before the installation of Chief Bere, Chief Charumbira’s area stretched from Zvinyaningwe ward 4, King Mine ward 9 and 33, Bondolfi ward 11, Mukonde ward 10, Bere Township ward 5 in Mashava, Summerton ward 6, Victoria Range and Buka ward 7.

The elder said the return of Chief Bere – whose family roots are in State House – from Zvishavane had resulted in the Charumbira clan losing land.

“The original owners of the land, the Nemanwa clan, also reclaimed their rightful land and took the land from us the Charumbiras.

“With Bere coming in from Zvishavane, there was nothing left for us to hold onto,” said the villager.

Government recently wrote to the Nemamwa royal families announcing the upgrading of their headmanship to the status of a Chieftainship . This means that Nemamwa will no longer be answerable to Charumbira who is at the same level with the latter as a chief.

He said as the Charumbira’s they had no claim to land n Masvingo per se, as they had settled in the area from Hwedza in the 1700s.

“But with his political clout we thought Charumbira would negotiate for us to have more land as he had very close ties to Zanu PF elders. But he did nothing, and now we are just sheep with no roots.

“We cannot even go back to Hwedza as we are no longer known there, and in fact, no-one in the existing Charumbira clan knows exactly where in Hwedza we hailed from,” he said.

The village elder went on to say if normal channels had been followed, most probably the chieftainship would not have been with Fortune but with another family altogether, which family would probably have negotiated for land rights much better than the current chief.

“What happened is that of the many families which had title to the chieftainship – about four or five – Fortune Charumbira’s family was the least on the list. Some of the Charumbira sons who had a right to the throne had been donated to other Charumbira brothers who could not bear sons, in the process losing their right to chieftainship.

“But what happened that many years ago is that people just started dying as soon they got the chieftainship. Many people in the different families passed on, and only the family of the current chief was left to assume chieftaincy.

“Fortune’s father Zephania, who was then based in Zambia, was deemed the best to assume the chieftaincy as the colonial government wanted chiefs to sit in the Senate. Because Zephania had Form Two (ZJC) education, he was recalled by the family to assume the role.

At the time of his death, his son, Fortune who was then working in Madagascar, was recalled to take up the role.

“Even during his time at university, Fortune was a staunch Zanu PF man and it only followed that he became chief. Even the family that was expected to assume chieftaincy on the death of Zephania had no chance, and Fortune took over,” said the elder.

“Now, we just look aghast as we have lost land. We expected Fortune to ask for land from the Nemanwa and Bere clans using his Zanu PF credentials, but he did no such thing.”

Elders in Chief Fortune Charumbira’s home area have expresssd disquiet over the manner the latter puppishly allowed his people to lose land.

In the process Charumbira is now a chief in name only s he has no area to lord over.


Before the installation of Chief Bere, Chief Charumbira’s area stretched from Zvinyaningwe ward 4, King Mine ward 9 and 33, Bondolfi ward 11, Mukonde ward 10, Bere Township ward 5 in Mashava, Summerton ward 6, Victoria Range and Buka ward 7.

“In fact, Chief Charumbira is a chief only in Sadc where he heads a chief’s council,” said one village elder who requested anonymity.

“In our village, Charumbira is no longer a chief as he only has two wards to lord over, Ward 11 and Ward 12. In fact, Ward 12 is just a half ward, and does not constitute a full ward at all.”

The elder said the return of Chief Bere from Zvishavane had resulted in the Charumbira clan losing land.

“The original owners of the land, the Nemanwa clan, also reclaimed their rightful land and took the land from us the Charumbiras.

“With Bere coming in from Zvishavane, there was nothing left for us to hold onto,” said the villager.

He said as the Charumbira’s they had no claim to land n Masvingo per se, as they had settled in the area from Hwedza in the 1700s.

“But with his political clout we thought Charumbira would negotiate for us to have more land as he had very close ties to Zanu PF elders. But he did nothing, and now we are just sheep with no roots.

“We cannot even go back to Hwedza as we are no longer known there, and in fact, no-one in the existing Charumbira clan knows exactly where in Hwedza we hailed from,” he said.

The village elder went on to say if normal channels had been followed, most probably the chieftainship would not have been with Fortune but with another family altogether, which family would probably have negotiated for land rights much better than the current chief.

“What happened is that of the many families which had title to the chieftainship – about four or five – Fortune Charumbira’s family was the least on the list. Some of the Charumbira sons who had a right to the throne had been donated to other Charumbira brothers who could not bear sons, in the process losing their right to chieftainship.

“But what happened that many years ago is that people just started dying as soon they got the chieftainship. Many people in the different families passed on, and only the family of the current chief was left to assume chieftaincy.

“Fortune’s father Zephania, who was then based in Zambia, was deemed the best to assume the chieftaincy as the colonial government wanted chiefs to sit in the Senate. Because Zephania had Form Two (ZJC) education, he was recalled by the family to assume the role.

At the time of his death, his son, Fortune who was then working in Madagascar, was recalled to take up the role.

“Even during his time at university, Fortune was a staunch Zanu PF man and it only followed that he became chief. Even the family that was expected to assume chieftaincy on the death of Zephania had no chance, and Fortune took over,” said the elder.

“Now, we just look aghast as we have lost land. We expected Fortune to ask for land from the Nemanwa and Bere clans using his Zanu PF credentials, but he did no such thing.”

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