Feuding Bulawayo council, Mambo dynasty meet over street renaming snub

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

CITY fathers in Bulawayo have agreed to meet descendants of the newly revived Mambo Dynasty who are up in arms with the local authority for overlooking their forefathers while renaming city streets, buildings and suburbs.

Two months ago, Bulawayo City Council recently took the decision to rename some city streets and buildings in honour of Ndebele kings.

The move, according to the local authority, was meant to preserve the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history and heritage of the city.

But this has apparently angered descendants of the Lozwi kingdom which existed in the city before the arrival of King Mzilikazi.

The clan recently installed Mike Moyo (50) as its king in an effort to revive its kingship.

Moyo argues that the recent renaming of some council roads and buildings was not a true historical reflection of the city as it side-lined other pre-colonial kings.

According to the latest council minutes, the local authority has agreed to meet the dynasty and hear its grievances.

“The Town Clerk (Christopher Dube) reported on the 4th of March 2020 that he had received the attached letter from the Mambo Royal Council dated 12 February 2020.

“Since the reception of the attached letter, the Mambo Dynasty was keen to meet councillors and discuss the issue further,” reads part of the council minutes.

According to the minutes, council resolved to engage the Mambo Dynasty through the General Purposes Committee.

“It was therefore resolved that the request by the Mambo Dynasty to engage councillors on the renaming of the City’s Mayor Streets be acceded to and authority be granted to members of the General Purposes Committee to meet Mambo Dynasty on a mutually convenient date,” further reads the report.

The Mambo Dynasty had given the local authority 21 days to reverse its controversial street renaming.

The group had also threatened to hold a protest march at the city hall if the street names were not reversed.

The Lozwi monarch had also claimed that repeated efforts to engage the Bulawayo City Council over the issue had yielded nothing as the city fathers allegedly refused to entertain their concerns.

The Lozwi Mornach argues that several Ndebele icons have already been honoured through renaming suburbs, schools and art centres after them.

“We do not see why one of the Lozwi Kings should not have the Mzilikazi Street named after him.

“We have been subject to colonisation first by Mzilikazi and then the whites.

“Mzilikazi oppressed us, creating a caste system in which the Nguni were regarded as first class citizens while those incorporated along the way were in the second strata and our people that he found here were in the lowest rung, being referred to as amahole,” said Moyo.