Armed police cordoned off Babourfields Stadium in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, on Saturday amid reports that the Ndebeles were going to defy a court order blocking the coronation of a new king.
According to traditionalists, who went to the stadium to check the situation though they did not intend to defy the court order, they were not allowed to get inside the council-owned property by the police.
Chief Nhlanhla Khayisa Ndiweni told a group of people gathering outside the king’s offices in the city that they should not feel defeated but victorious following the High Court order declaring the installation of a Ndebele king as unconstitutional.
“Don’t feel disappointed about this. In fact, we have shown them that we are people with strong cultural beliefs. They panicked in government, they panicked in the courts of law and we are still here to do what we are supposed to do. The day will come for us to install our king.”
Bulelani Lobhengula Khumalo is the heir apparent to the Ndebele throne. The second and last Ndebele king, Lobhengula, disappeared in 1894.
His father, Mzilikazi established a Ndebele kingdom soon after he left Zululand then under the tight rule of Tshaka Zulu in South Africa.
A High Court judge on Friday issued an order blocking the coronation of the prince amid reports that the government was scared of having a Ndebele monarch in the country.
The country's constitution is silent on the position of a king.