Chinhoyi

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Chinhoyi
Town
Population
 (2012)
 • Total61,739

Chinhoyi is a town located in Mashonaland West Province. It is also the administrative capital of the province. The town has a great historical significance attached to it. It has also been celebrated for its natural wonders which include the Chinhoyi Caves.

Location

It is 115 km northwest of Harare on the highway to Chirundu. It is also on the Lomagundi Branch Railway line. [1]
17° 22′ S, 30° 12′ E
Altitude 1145m. [2]
See Distances in Zimbabwe

History

The first settlement there (1895) was known as Lomagundi, and the name was changed to Sinoia in 1902, after the local Chief Chinhoyi. In July 1946 it gained municipal status. In 1982, the name was changed to Chinoyi.
It was home to a number of commercial white farmers, most of whom were concentrated in the Nemakonde area. All crops were grown in the area, with major ones being tobacco, maize and irrigated winter wheat. Beef and dairy farming were also significant. The town was also home to locals who were employed in farms and local industry (Cold Storage Commission, DMB, GMB, and many agricultural support industries such as seed, fertilizer and hardware), while others lived in communal areas surrounding the town.
There are several limestone quarries in the area, and a few, small, gold and chromite mines. In 1982, copper production in the area was greater than in any other area of Zimbabwe.
Chinhoyi local government is Chinhoyi Municipality.
The town's water supply is the Manyame River.

Population

1969 - 11 560 Africans, 1 557 Europeans, 206 Asians, 34 Coloureds, 13360 Total. (1969 Rhodesian Census) [3]
1969 - 13 360 (87 % black). [2]
1982 - Chinohoyi had a population of 24 322.
2012 - Chinhoyi was home to about 61,739.

Other information

Chinhoyi is home to a number of popular figures in Zimbabwe. These include Phillip Chiyangwa, a businessman cum politician aligned to ZANU-PF party.
The Bhundu Boys, a famous musical outfit led by Biggie Tembo belonging to the 1980s also emerged from Chinhoyi and the group also dedicated a song "Viva Chinhoyi" in which they celebrated the historical and symbolic meaning of the town.[4]
The late music icon Cephas Mashakada was also from the small this town.[4]

Historical Significance

Chinhoyi has been celebrated as an iconic place which gave birth to the country's independence. This is due to the fact that the first gunshots by the freedom fighters were fired near this small town and this signalled the beginning of the liberation struggle which was also known as the Second Chimurenga. On the 28 April 1966 a group of 7 guerrillas who had infiltrated into the country from Zambia (where they had received their military training by the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army) [5] were engaged by the Rhodesian Army and airforce. The seven soldiers namely David Guzuzu, Arthur Maramba, Christopher Chatambudza, Simon C Nyandoro, Godfrey Manyerenyere, Godwin Dube and Chubby Savanhu were on a mission to destabilize the settlers. The seven fighters were killed after running out of ammunition having fought the Rhodesian Security Forces which included its air force, ground force.[5] They are said to have downed a Rhodesian helicopter during the battle and killed 25 soldiers.[6] It is known today as the Battle of Chinhoyi.

Attractions

Chinhoyi Caves

A Scenic View of Chinhoyi Caves

Chinhoyi Caves Recreational Park covers a large area only 20 acres of it in the vicinity of the actual Caves are used by the public. The traditional name for the Caves is "Chirorodziva" which means the "Pool of the Fallen".[7] The name was derived from an incident which took place in the 1830s when the Angoni Tribe, who were moving northwards surprised people living near the Caves and flung them into the pool. The area close to the caves was first declared a National Monument and in 1957 it was declared a National Park with its existing boundaries. It was then redesignated as a Recreational Park in 1975. The Caves consist of a system of tunnels and caverns.[7] The Caves are composed mainly of the sunlit "Sleeping Pool" and the artificially lit Dark Cave. The Sleeping Pool is 46 metres below the ground level and is accessible in two ways.

Some Activites

Chinhoyi town houses the Chinhoyi University of Technology, one of the state-owned universities in Zimbabwe. The institution enrols thousands of students each year and employs hundreds of professionals and this adds the much-needed hype to the town all year round. In addition, the town also boasts of a three-star hotel, the Chinhoyi Hotel which is famous for its hosting of business conferences, academic expos and as well as other social gatherings.

Diesel Saga

In 2007 at the height of economic crisis in Zimbabwe, an alleged ancestral sprit in the person of Rotina Mavhunga claimed that diesel was oozing out of a rock in a mountain in Chinhoyi. A high level delegation led by Cabinet ministers Kembo Mohadi, Sydney Sekeramayi and Didymus Mutasa was sent by president Robert Mugabe to confirm. They were duped into paying for a beast and Z$5 Million for the rituals to take place in order for the then rare commodity to be accessed. It eventually turned out that the whlole diesel story was not real and the people behind it were arrested.[8]

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References

  1. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed), Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  3. [Mary Akers (ed.), Encyclopaedia Rhodesia] (The College Press, Salisbury, 1973) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  4. 4.0 4.1 , Viva Chinhoyi,Youtube, published:21 Mar 2013,retrieved:30 Mar 2015"
  5. 5.0 5.1 , The Chinhoyi Battle,Zuva Re, published:4 Jan 2014,retrieved:30 Mar 2015" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "facebook" defined multiple times with different content
  6. , And So the Liberation Struggle Began,NewZimbabwe, published:11 Dec 2009,retrieved:30 Mar 2015"
  7. 7.0 7.1 , Chinhoyi Caves,ZimParks, Retrieved:30 Mar 2015
  8. , ‘Diesel n’anga’ released from prison,The Standard, Published:8 Apr 2012, Retrieved:30 Mar 2015