Victoria Falls Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has sent a message of condolence to the Kavula family and traditional leaders in Binga following the death of Chief Kavula of Lubimbi who was buried at his homestead last Friday.
Chief Kavula had occupied the throne for 37 years to become Binga’s longest serving chief.
He was installed in 1984, succeeding his brother who had died in 1978.
Born Mukusi Nkamu Muleya, Chief Kavula was 90-years-old when he died last week at Binga District Hospital after a long illness.
Speaking at the burial, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said Chief Kavula died at a time when Government was seized with identification of land for relocation of his subjects as a result of the construction of Lake Gwayi-Shangani which is within reach of the chiefdom.
Minister Moyo said all affected villagers would be compensated as Government is committed to improving livelihoods.
“I came here after informing the President that we have lost a senior chief in Binga and other chiefs in Chivhu and Mutoko, but I told him (President Mnangagwa) that I am going to Chief Kavula’s burial because he (President) gave us work to do in Binga together with chiefs. The President sent his condolences to the family and other chiefs on the death of Chief Kavula,” he said.
Minister Moyo said he was saddened by the death of Chief Kavula who was pro-development and worked to preserve culture and the country’s heritage.
“You have lost a senior chief, but let’s mourn with hope knowing the year that our chief died is the year when our lives were transformed. We are very grateful and thankful to the way Chief Kavula worked and the number of mourners here is testimony to his good work.
“The chief left us in the middle of a programme spearheaded by President Mnangagwa where we wanted to work with all traditional leaders in Binga. Where there is development, even if it is good for the whole community, some people closer to it are affected, but I assure you that you won’t be dumped where you don’t like.
“We will look for a place where you will settle together and no-one will be moved without compensation as Government will compensate all those who will be affected,” said Minister Moyo.
He said the Gwayi-Shangani project will not save a purpose if it does not improve the livelihoods of local communities hence work is underway to identify land where more than 300 families that will be affected will be relocated.
The lake will swallow about 10 000ha of land at full flooding and Minister Moyo said about 6 000 hectares of land closer to the lake will be put under irrigation.
Villagers around Lubimbi have been concerned about lack of communication about their fate as the dam is set to be completed in December.
Minister Moyo said President Mnangagwa has indicated that he will personally visit Lubimbi area to show commitment towards transforming lives in Binga and other communities countrywide in line with his aspirations for an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
He said the history of Kavula chieftaincy started in 1933 in Pashu area where Kavula was a village head before relocating to Lubimbi in the 1950s.
In Lubimbi, Kavula and his people were under Chief Mkoka whose chiefdom was stretched to Sebungwe in Binga along Zambezi River.
As the population grew, Kavula became a headman under Chief Mkoka who later relocated to Gokwe in Midlands.
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When Binga district was created in 1957, it was decided in 1958 that headman Kavula be under Chief Pashu until 1976 when Kavula was elevated to chief.
Zenge Kavula was the first chief before he was killed during the liberation war in 1978.
Born on September 8, 1931, Chief Kavula was appointed on February 1, 1984.
Minister Moyo said the late chief worked for Government in the Department of Roads and he used that knowledge and experience in improving livelihoods in his area.
He was instrumental in construction and provision of water at Lubimbi primary and secondary schools as well as a mothers’ shelter at Lubimbi clinic.
Chief Kavula was among the few traditional leaders that still conducted annual traditional rain making ceremonies.
Present at the burial was president of the Chief’s Council Chief Charumbira and his deputy Chief Mtshana Khumalo, traditional leaders from Matabeleland North, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mr Munesu Munodawafa, representing Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu, Mines and Mining Development deputy Minister Polite Kambamura and a representative from Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, whose attendance Minister Moyo said was Government’s show of commitment to the development of Binga.