King Lobengula's Descendants Demand Bulawayo State House
The descendants of King Lobengula say that 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 intends to turn the area in Sauerstown into a cultural hub that will help preserve Ndebele culture.
Lobengula was the last King of an independent Ndebele State whose headquarters was Bulawayo.
One of the claimants to the Ndebele throne, Prince Zwide Khumalo said:
The politics of the right to claim ownership of Bulawayo lies in the bitter history of oppression by white colonialists. Cecil John Rhodes grabbed
the King’s palace, eMahlabathini, and built his house on that land.
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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.
There is no historical record that indicates that isikhonkwane for our palace was ever removed.
Prince Zwide said that the area where the State House was built used to be King Lobengula’s palace.
However, the government has hitherto refused to recognise the Ndebele Kingdom. At one point, a planned coronation of the Ndebele King was suppressed by the government.