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Chief Malaba hailed as an environmentalist par excellence

Story by Providence Maraneli

A funeral service was held for the late Chief Malaba of Kezi at his rural home in Matobo District this Wednesday.

While many communities across the country are battling land degradation as a result of uncontrolled cutting down of trees, Malaba Ward in Matobo District has emerged as a shining example of environmental stewardship.

This is attributed to strict environmental laws enforced by one of the longest-serving chiefs in Matabeleland South Province, the late Chief Malaba.

Villagers who gathered for the late Chief Malaba’s funeral service at his rural home confirmed that they have lost an environment enthusiast.

“It was not allowed to cut down trees in this area,” said one of the villagers.

Another added, “The Chief was so strict about the environment and cultural laws.”

“The loss is not for the family only but the whole community and if you look around the trees that you see are there because he never allowed people to cut down trees,” said a  Family representative, Mr Luke Ncube.

Chief Malaba’s humility and leadership qualities will forever be engraved in the minds of the local community.

Roman Catholic Priest, Father Innocent Ndlovu said, “Chief Malaba was a humble and straightforward man.”

Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Evelyn Ndlovu described Chief Malaba as a fountain of wisdom.

“As government we are saddened by the passing on of Chief Malaba, he was like a guardian to the young Chiefs that we are installing and he was a visionary and humble traditional leader,” she said.

Born David Christopher Malaba, Chief Malaba was installed as substantive Chief in 1988 after the death of his father Ntelela Malaba in in 1986.

Chief Malaba is survived by his wife and five children.

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