Farai Kuvirimirwa Features Writer
The Seke chieftaincy has witnessed several fights with many battling to take over. Some of the fights have spilled into the courts of law.
This lack of leadership has also seen the area being rocked by the illegal partitioning and selling of residential stands to desperate home seekers while allocating others under electricity pylons or in grazing pastures.
Accusations and counter accusations have been traded but the battles are set to end now that the area has a substantive chief, Chief Seke Stanley Chimanikire.
The war over the Seke chieftaincy eventually came to an end this year after summons and applications filed at the High Court contesting the enthronement of Mr Chimanikire were dismissed for lack of merit.
That gave the appointing officer, President Robert Mugabe, the green light to elevate Stanley Mupunduro Chimanikire to the chieftainship.
After his installation at a ceremony which was attended by thousands including notable figures such as Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa and Deputy Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing Eng Joel Biggie Matiza, Chief Seke vowed to be a unifying factor of the new and original inhabitants of Seke.
At the colourful ceremony, Deputy Minister Matiza said Government was concerned with the sprouting of unauthorised settlements which are attributed to illegal land deals in communal lands.
Chief Seke said his elevation will bring a different picture in his area of jurisdiction.
“During the land reform programme, I got a 33-hectare piece of land where I farm maize and tobacco and I had to establish infrastructure including a supermarket and three grinding mills. I cherish my roots and opted to fight for chieftainship in 2009 after my predecessor died on July 27, 2007.
“We did everything according to tradition and a beast was accepted by ancestors in the presence of headman Muswaka, who is a nephew,” said Chief Seke.
Chief Seke narrated how members of the Vhuramai clan contested his nomination, arguing that there were alleged discrepancies initiated by acting Seke district administrator Mr Eric Samunda.
“Others who were interested in the post tried to stop it by way of an urgent High Court Chamber application and summons but they all lacked merit and were dismissed,” said the elated Chief.
Asked what he was going to do regarding encroachment of the town to communal lands, he said urbanisation had taken place and it was important for the villages to embrace events that had taken place which was important for unity.
“Seke has been urbanised and there has been electrification of the community and as a chief my role is to provide solutions to problems bedevilling the people. There has been invasion of culture, rampant and illegal sales of land by people bent on fattening their pockets to the disadvantage of the people.
“We will not be deterred by anything but the only option is to adopt a professional approach on all issues with advice coming from family members and headmen.
“I will work with the district administrator and with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and no one will be disadvantaged in the process,” said Chief Seke.
He said his vision was to initiate projects in his community which will utilise resources at their disposal.
“There has been lack of solid traditional leadership and we now want to enrich our history such that youngsters know where we came from and where we are heading to,” he said.
The Seke chieftainship currently has 224 headmen and villagers who look up to him for advice.
Chief Seke was born on November 12 in 1956 in Pasipamire Village in Chihota communal lands. He is a father of 10, married to Naume Chimanikire and they have seven grandchildren.
Chief Seke is a son to the late Taderera Muzanya Thomas Chimanikire and Hilda Mhukayesango.
He is the 17th chief of Seke Mutema.
He attained his primary education at Seke Materera Primary School before proceeding for his secondary education where he was taught by volunteers who were then enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe when he was staying with an uncle at Tomlinson Police Depot in 1971.
Chief Seke left for Welsley Private School in 1972 before attending St Peters Claver School in Mbare for his Ordinary and Advanced Level studies, which he completed in 1975.
His background motivated him to attend school with the money he realised from the part time jobs he did.
“My father failed to raise money for my Ordinary Level studies and I had to hunt for piece jobs and the money went towards my schooling. I corresponded at Harare Secondary School with my own money which came also from wares I sold at Mbare Musika and the surplus went towards my siblings’ upkeep.
“The main problem at the time was peer competition where friends obtained proper education from formal schools and I could not, which was attributed to my background.
“I aspired to be a salesman for Lever Brothers but I ended up at Commercial Carriers College which was later taken over by ZDECO,” he said.
Inspired to reach greater levels of success, Chief Seke did a diploma in salesmanship in 1980.
“I did a diploma in salesmanship from where I got a distinction and my lecturer persuaded me to obtain a driver’s licence which I did. I studied further for two Institute of Marketing Management diplomas in 1988. I was later employed as a trainee salesman at Duly’s where I specialised in sales of agricultural machinery such as tractors, combine harvesters and trailers among others,” he said.
Chief Seke said he was empowered by the Government in 1995 after obtaining a loan which propelled him to success he is enjoying to date.
“I resigned in 1995 and decided to start my own business. I was empowered by the Government which had a ZW$400 million that was meant for entrepreneurs.
“I opted for commercial tillage and I got ZW$160 000 which I used to buy a tractor before selling my house so that I could buy a trailer and a plough.
“I secured a contract with Hunyani Paper Mills where the tractor ferried their gumtree poles and hauling timber to rail sidings. The business expanded and soon I bought a timber sawmill. Unfortunately I paid money to a middleman who did not forward it to the owner.
“I had to pay for the mill twice but this did not deter me. The heavens smiled at me and I got a contract to supply timber to companies like PG, Kitchen Décor, among others,” he said.
Chief Seke said he prefers watching television in his free time.