Management of the Great Zimbabwe Monument is expected to improve after stakeholders recently adopted the inaugural management plan for the World Heritage site that has been under constant threat from disasters such as fire. The adoption of the management plan by the monument’s stakeholders among them the National Meseums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, the local community, chiefs and other actors comes in the wake of a series of consultative meetings that started in October 2011.
The adopted plan would be handed over to the Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi, for approval before onward transmission to Unesco, which declared the monument a World Heritage site in 1986.
National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe Masvingo regional director Mr Lovemore Mandima said the adoption of the management plan was done at the request of Unesco, adding that the plan would result in better management of the Great Zimbabwe monuments. Mr Mandima said the plan also highlighted the need for the local community to play a prominent role in the management of the monument.
|Fast facts: Great Zimbabwe|
|Location||Is a ruined city in the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe and the town of Masvingo, close to the Chimanimani Mountains and the Chipinge District|
|UNESCO World Heritage site||It was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe during the country’s Late Iron Age. Construction on the monument by ancestors of the Shona people began in the 11th century and continued until the 14th century,spanning an area of 722 hectares (1,780 acres) which, at its peak, could have housed up to 18,000 people.|
|The earliest known written mention of the ruins||1531 by Vicente Pegado, captain of the Portuguese garrison of Sofala, who recorded it as Symbaoe|
|The first visits by Europeans||In the late 19th century, with investigations of the site starting in 1871|
“This is the first management plan that we have had for the Great Zimbabwe monument since it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986. We never used to manage the monument using a plan but used management systems and this plan is expected to further enhance management efforts in light of various threats confronting the monument,” he said.
Mr Mandima said the adoption of the management plan and increased participation of the local community in the management of the monument would curb threats like fires, destruction of the perimeter fence and wood and wildlife poaching.
“The local community now appreciates the importance of properly managing the Great Zimbabwe monument because they now accrue more benefits from it under the management plan through cultural tourism, , exhibitions at facilities such as the Shona village and sale of artefacts to tourists,” he said.
Mr Mandima said the new management plan also incorporated Chief Murinye as one of the stakeholders of the Great Zimbabwe monuments with surrounding chiefs Mugabe and headman Nemanwa.
Date: 5 October 2013