PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa chose to steer clear of controversy after he ducked the installation of Chief Bere on Tuesday.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira, instead, officiated at the event in place of Mnangagwa at Bere Secondary School in Mashava.
No explanation was given for the no-show.
According to a letter by district administrator (DA) Roy Hove, Mnangagwa was supposed to officiate at the event.
Hove courted controversy by ordering schools to recall pupils from holidays so that they provide entertainment during Mnangagwa’s visit.
The installation went ahead despite a High Court order obtained by other members of the Bere clan who are disputing Phineas Tafirei’s claim to the throne.
Tafirei is believed to be Mnangagwa’s relative.
“He did not want to be seen taking sides although, of course, he has already done so because the installation went ahead despite there being a High Court interdict. By not coming, he chose to play smart, and not be seen like he is defying a court order,” a top Zanu PF official said.
Some aggrieved members of the Bere clan accused the Local Government ministry of being in contempt by ignoring the High Court interdict.
Through their lawyer Raymond Moyo of Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans, the aggrieved members wrote to Local Government minister July Moyo, reminding him of the High Court order nullifying all those processes as being “irregular, unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void”.
The letter, dated August 9, 2018, was copied to Mnangagwa, Chief Chitanga, the Masvingo Chiefs’ Council provincial chairperson, and Attorney-General Prince Machaya.
“We attach hereto copy of the High Court order issued by Honourable Justice Phiri on October 24, 2017. In the circumstances, the purported appointment of Tafirei Phenias as substantive Chief Bere is unlawful and in contempt of an extant court order. Please, kindly attend to the urgent reversal of this ‘appointment’,” part of the letter read.