THE Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage Abednigo Ncube yesterday described as madness plans by self anointed “Ndebele King” Mr Raphael Khumalo to pull down the national flag.
Minister Ncube, responding to reports of Mr Khumalo’s plans to pull down the national flag on September 12, said the he will face the full wrath of the law should he proceed with his plan.
“If he does that, he is going to be arrested, our Government is a constitutionally elected one and if he goes on with his plan, he will face the full wrath of the law,” said Minister Ncube.
“There is a mental hospital in Bulawayo, I think he should be sent there because what he is proposing is total madness. Let him do it and he will see.”
Mr Khumalo two weeks ago unveiled what he said was the Mthwakazi Kingdom flag which would “replace” the national flag in areas that “fall” under his kingdom, after his coronation on September 12 this year.
This came hard on the heels of yet another move that bordered on treason from the “king”, in which he wrote to President Mugabe demanding keys to the State House in Bulawayo, which he claimed was his official residence.
Minister Ncube said the constitution of the country only recognises traditional leaders in the form of chiefs and there are no provisions for kings.
“There is only one appointing authority in the Republic of Zimbabwe and that is His Excellency President Mugabe, what this Khumalo fellow is trying to do is unconstitutional and we won’t tolerate that,” he said.
“The constitution has no provision for a king but we have chiefs. Those who were dethroned during the colonial era will be reinstalled but we don’t have a provision for a king. On the chiefs, the only appointing authority is President Mugabe.”
Minister Ncube said Zimbabwe is a country that observes law and order and Mr Khumalo would not be allowed to act in contravention of the law.
Which adult will listen to such madness? He will be ignored by the people as he should,” he said.
“All over the world even in those countries that observe kingdoms, there is no king who owns a flag so the mischief in this person’s actions is very obvious.”
Minister Ncube’s sentiments were echoed by Zanu-PF Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Richard Moyo who said such “lunatic” behaviour was expected towards elections.
“We follow what happened in 1980 when the country got its Independence from Britain. We lowered the Union Jack and hoisted our Zimbabwean flag which we will continue to observe in accordance with our national constitution,” he said.
“As we draw closer to elections we expect such kind of madness but he should not be taken seriously. If he was genuine, he would concern himself with cultural issues and not flags and national politics.”
At the weekend Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni described Mr Khumalo’s plans as treasonous and an affront to Zimbabwe’s founding fathers.
Mr Khumalo, who is on an ill-fated drive to revive the Mthwakazi Kingdom, said the flag would be hoisted in the Midlands Province, parts of Masvingo and the three Matabeleland region provincial areas he said all fall under “his empire.” He told his followers that he would be crowned King Mzilikazi II on September 12, to mark the official restoration of the Mthwakazi Kingdom and its secession from Zimbabwe.
The Mthwakazi flag unveiled by Mr Khumalo at a disguised prayer meeting at the Bulawayo Large City Hall has the colours brown, yellow, white, black and purplish-blue, and a water mark image of Jesus Christ. Mr Khumalo explained that the brown colour represented the land, yellow stood for minerals, white was for peace and black for the black people in his “Kingdom” while the purplish-blue colour represented royalty. The water mark image of Jesus Christ, he said, resembled his kingdom’s Christian foundations.
Until recently, Mr Khumalo had been using Tshuma as his surname, something that has raised questions over the credibility of his claim to the Khumalo bloodline. In fact, traditionalists and descendants of the Khumalo royal family have dismissed him as a fraud.
His treasonous antics have also drawn annoyance from the Mthwakazi KaMzilikazi Cultural Society, an organisation that promotes Ndebele culture and is made up of members of the royal family. The society feels that Mr Khumalo is dragging the name of the royal family through the mud with his antics despite the fact that there are doubts of him being part of the Khumalos.