DETHRONED chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Felix Ndiweni says efforts are being made to have the sacred Ntabazinduna mountain declared a World Heritage Site.
The area is at the centre of a wrangle between Brian Davies and Floyd Ambrose for the ownership of Chiefs Lodge situated on top of the mountain.
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With the permission of the late Chief Khayisa Ndiweni, the Davies and Parsons families built Chiefs Lodge in 1992. Davies and Ambrose are fighting for control of a portion of Tabas Induna Farm, where the mountain stands.
Speaking from his base in the United Kingdom, Ndiweni said Ntabazinduna mountain was of cultural significance to the Ndebele nation.
“We have to ask this government who they went to war for and who they fought for because wherever you look in Zimbabwe, they are stocking up tribal tensions and bringing up tribalism,” he said.
“Take a look at Chiredzi, among the Shangani nation, their sacred ancestral land is about to be forcefully taken over by this government.”
Ndiweni said both President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga knew about the significance of the mountain.
“We have had talks about it when we met with the VP so I am 100 percent sure he and the president are also well-versed on Ndebele history, so he too knows. Yet we are forced to see this utter nonsense,” he said.
“As the chief of that area, I have to speak up, I cannot keep quiet when such things are happening.
“Otherwise, other traditional leaders will ask: Chief Ndiweni what is happening to our mountain? I must be able to give a reply.”
Ndiweni claimed Ambrose was not acting alone, but was ‘a front.’
“If the president and vice-president believed the importance of Ntabazinduna mountain they would have stopped Ambrose a long time ago,” he said.
“But the fact that Ambrose continues this means he has obtained sanction or authority from the vice president and president,”
The vocal government critic said they were left with no option, but to seek international protection for the mountain.
“It has been for some time now that we have been looking at how we can encapsulate it into a World Heritage Site,” he said.
“There are various criteria to that and I think we meet most of those.
“If we don’t meet some of those criteria, then we can always add an attachment to Matopos, Khami Ruins or other localities. Indeed we can work closely with the City of Bulawayo, which has many sites that qualify to be classed as World Heritage Sites.”
Ndiweni was controversially removed from his position by the government last year.
Source – Cite