Report by Marshall Bwanya
A tense atmosphere is expected when President Emmerson Mnangagwa meets with defiant Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni at the burial of late national hero and ZIPRA intelligence supremo Dumiso Dabengwa at his Ntabazinduna homestead this week.
Ntabazinduna is under Ndiweni’s jurisdiction making him a – host to Mnangagwa should he attend the burial.
According to family member Gibson Sibanda , Dabengwa will be buried at his rural homestead in Ntabazinduna.
Chief Ndiweni’s relationship with ZANU PF and Mnangagwa has been frosty making him the first traditional leader to break the norm of chiefs’ perceived partisan alignment to ZANU PF.
Ndiweni has castigated ZANU PF led government that sanctions were the cause of people’s suffering but put the blame on corruption and maladministration as the root cause of the economic meltdown.
At the recently held MDC congress in Gweru, the charismatic traditional leader said chiefs had a constitutional obligation to speak about the political, economic and social ills bedevilling the masses.
“People have misunderstood the role of chiefs, we have had so many documents in the press that a chief is only about culture, my job in the constitution says you must maintain, protect the customs, practices, traditions and norms of your people,” he said.
“If the people are hungry, cannot afford to pay school fees, have no access to fuel, transport, and cannot afford groceries I must stand up and do something about it.
“It is the duty of chiefs to speak about these things,” he added.
Chief Ndiweni reiterated that the country is going through a terrible economic meltdown and that everything that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong.
Mnangagwa has never at any point responded to Ndiweni’s utterances.
Recently Zanu PF youths allegedly attempted to torch Chief Ndiweni’s vehicle in a bid to gag him.
If Mnanagwa attends Dabengwa’s funeral in Ntabazinduna ,it will be the first time that he meets Chief Ndiweni after his utterances critical to his administration.
Speculation has it that Manangagwa might not attend the funeral as he has previously done to other departed national heroes like t Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and Professor Phineas Makhurane
The body the late Dabengwa nicknamed Black Russian arrived in the country on Monday.