Descendants of King Lobengula say they want the government to give them back land where the Bulawayo State House was built to restore their heritage.
The King Lobengula Royal Trust wants to turn the area in Sauerstown into a cultural hub that will help preserve Ndebele culture.
Prince Zwide Khumalo said time had come for the government to consider returning the land to its rightful owners.
“The politics of the right to claim ownership of Bulawayo lies in the bitter history of oppression by white colonialists,” he said. “Cecil John Rhodes grabbed the King’s palace, eMahlabathini, and built his house on that land.
“In our culture no one builds his house on another man’s yard (unxiwa) unless with the express permission of the owner of the land.
“The identity of one’s homestead is anchored on the rituals of establishing the home (isikhonkwane). Cecil John Rhodes did not know or care to observe the Ndebele culture when he aggressively grabbed and occupied our land.
“In fact, there is no history record that indicates that isikhonkwane for our palace was ever removed.”
Khumalo said the area where the State House was built used to be King Lobengula’s palace.