Runesu Gwidi in MASHAVA
Zimbabwe Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira has called for an end to a long-standing boundary dispute between himself and newly-installed Chief Bere of Mashava.
This follows the installation of the first Chief Bere (Mr Phineus Tafirei) in almost a century last week during a colourful ceremony presided over by Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Ezra Chadzamira.
Chiefs Charumbira and Bere are neighbours and there has been haggling between the two chieftainships, over their boundary.
The tiff between the two clans over their jurisdictional boundary even threatened to derail the installation of Chief Bere, whose chieftainship was finally resuscitated by President Mnangagwa after being abolished by the colonial regime in 1925.
Speaking at Chief Bere’s installation, Chief Charumbira called for the feuding parties to smoke the peace pipe.
He said the resuscitation of the Bere chieftainship should sow the seeds of friendly relations between the Charumbira and Bere people. A meeting, he added, would soon be convened to reconcile the two warring clans.
“We were finding it difficult to co-exist because of the feud arising from the issue of jurisdictional boundaries between Chief Charumbira and Chief Bere. It is therefore my strong suggestion that we must convene an urgent meeting on the issue and bury the hatchet.
“Now that the new Chief Bere has been installed, let’s seek a resolution to our dispute. Our President, Cde ED Mnangagwa, always encourages communities to live in harmony and unity.’’
Chief Charumbira suggested dialogue between the Bere and Charumbira clans despite their boundary dispute spilling into the courts.
‘’The issue of boundaries, though it has spilled into the courts of law, is not a big thing. Dialogue between the two clans is the solution. My clan and I will not militate against the decision by the President to appoint and install the new Chief Bere. What I expect from today is peaceful co-existence between the Charumbira and the Bere clans.
“Also we need to be wary of some unscrupulous elements within our clans who incite violence. It is, again, my strong pledge that I will work together with the new Chief Bere,” he said amid applause.
Raging disputes over issues such as boundaries tarnished the image of traditional leaders who are the torch bearers and custodians of cultural values in their domains, said Chief Charumbira.
Recently clashes between Bere and Charumbira clan members over a boundary dispute saw some houses being torched in the contested areas.
In his capacity as Chiefs’ Council president, Chief Charumbira encouraged the new Chief Bere to work hard in maintaining justice and preserving natural resources.