Chiefs fight for rights to monuments

Three traditional chiefs in Masvingo are embroiled in a boundary dispute over ownership of the Great Zimbabwe monuments and tourist fees.

Chief Fortune Charumbira, chief Tarusenga Mugabe and chief Enock Murinye are each claiming that the monuments fall under their jurisdiction and visitors’ fees are, therefore, owed to them.

“The Great Zimbabwe monuments are under my jurisdiction and there is no question about that, and all chiefs are aware of this,” said Charumbira. “Any traditional ceremony at the monuments should be led by the Charumbira people, who are naturally the custodians of the place.

“We should also have a bite of the cake that is generated when tourists, especially foreign ones, pay to see the monuments.”

However, chief Mugabe says the monuments are on his patch and that the other chiefs are aware that the Mugabe clan has been the custodian of the monuments for years. Those who claim otherwise, he says, are lying.

“The Mugabe clan is the custodian of Great Zimbabwe and this is known even by young children who have a proper history of the area,” said Mugabe.

“In fact, our forefathers were involved in the construction of the monuments and, as a national heritage and tourist attraction centre, we cannot simply claim that it is ours, because such sites belong to the state.

Chief Murinye also claims the monuments.

“We have remained quiet while other chiefs claim that they are the custodians of Great Zimbabwe, but now is the time to know the truth,” he said. “The area on which Great Zimbabwe lies is ours and no-one can claim otherwise.”

Masvingo provincial administrator Felix Chikovo said there was no point in the traditional leaders arguing over the monuments as the state held records that specified whose jurisdiction they fell under.

In 2012, the department of national museums and monuments has rebuilt the Shona village at the Great Zimbabwe monuments, which was destroyed by veld fires.

Post published in: News
  1. Chigwedere

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