The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Mon­day, Septem­ber 30, 1991 — The Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil, whose hous­ing wait­ing list stands at more than 37 000, is in a dilemma fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of grave­yards in a large sec­tion of Nketa sec­tion 8 and some parts of the new mid­dle in­come stands at Ma­hat­shula.

The Mata­bele­land re­gional direc­tor of mu­se­ums, Cde Al­bert Ku­mi­rai, said re­cently that fol­low­ing a visit to Nketa 8 by an ar­chae­ol­o­gist from the Queen Vic­to­ria Mu­seum in Harare, the board of the mu­se­ums’ trustee had ad­vised the city coun­cil that de­vel­op­ment in the ar­eas af­fected be stopped un­til it had been es­tab­lished who the graves be­long to.

Cde Ku­mi­rai said although his depart­ment ac­knowl­edged the need for stands, peo­ple could not be left to de­stroy vi­tal in­for­ma­tion on the Ndebele cul­ture.

In July work­ers clear­ing a piece of land for the con­struc­tion of a sports field at Nketa Se­condary School dis­cov­ered a grave yard which was be­lieved to be the rest­ing place of King Loben­gula’s n’an­gas.

The ar­chae­ol­o­gist who vis­ited the grave­yard last month, Miss Lor­raine Adams, said in a re­port to the re­gional direc­tor of mu­se­ums that in Nketa Sec­tion 8 — 150 graves were dis­cov­ered on about five hectares of land. The graves were first un­earthed in 1984 when the city started de­vel­op­ing the area.

About 700 me­tres to the north-west of the burial area, more graves have been found on the grounds of Nketa Se­condary School.

The graves are be­lieved to date back to the Iron Age tra­di­tions called Zhizo, Wool­landle, Leop­ard’s Kopje and Khami. The meth­ods of burial are still recog­nised by the Ndebele peo­ple.

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