The Mukwahepo faction that says the Shambyu chieftainship has been dominated by the Mwengere clan for the past seven decades on Tuesday presented to members of the public the person it says should reign on its behalf after being sidelined for 74 years.
The Mwengere clan on the other hand says it wants continuity and on Saturday presented the person that it wants to succeed Angeline Matumbo Ribebe, who died in June.
Presently the two factions from different sections of the Shambyu royal lineage are locked in a bitter dispute over which family should be installed, with one of the groups, the Mukwahepos, saying it is now their turn, as the late Ribebe was a Mwengere.
The Mukwahepo faction argues that the last time a descendant of their family reigned was 74 years ago, but the Mwengere faction says it wants continuity and claims that late chief Ribebe left a verbal will that Sofia Mundjembe Kanyetu, 48, who the Mwengere faction presented on Saturday, should take over as the next chief.
The Mukwahepos on Tuesday presented to the public the person they feel has the stature and qualities to succeed Ribebe. Their nominee is 56-year-old Maria Kunyanda Joachim, the principal of Ncgancgana Primary School.
“I, Rebecca Kambundu, and my niece Ingrid are the eldest in both factions and I’m the eldest, so every word or decision that is to be made in our tribe should have my endorsement,” said headwoman Kambundu at the event, where the headteacher was introduced to the public at Safari.
“So, the power and respect accorded to me as the eldest member of both factions gives me that unrivalled strength and allows me to be able to nominate who I think and know will best rule our tribe,” said the elder of the Shambyu tribe.
Last week the senior headwoman of the Shambyu traditional authority said she mediated a meeting at her house at Kayengona attended by both factions currently jostling for power.
At the meeting the Mwengere faction said the late Ribebe had left a verbal will, nominating the person who should take over once she dies, but the Mukwahepo are disputing this.