Mberengwa town (formerly Belingwe, sometimes Mberengwa) is the capital of a district in Midlands Province. The district is divided into sub-districts: Mberengwa North, East, West and South. It is bounded by Gwanda in Mberengwa west, and by Zvishavane in its northern zone, to the south it stretches to Neshuro, Chikombedzi and bounded by Manyuchi dam. it is about 24 km south-east of Zvishavane.
Lat/Long: 20° 29' 0" South, 29° 55' 0" East
The name "Mberengwa" comes from the Karanga phrase Mbere-yeingwa. The other widely accepted theory about the meaning of Mberengwa is 'verengwa' which is an act of census believed to have been conducted by the Lemba people stationed at Mount Mberengwa after a terrible plague. Clans that had been counted and accounted for became Mberengwa. After the census it is belived that various clans of the Lemba migrated to different parts of the district including Thohoyandou in Venda, South Africa. This name is still used as a clan name by the Hadji tribe of the Lemba (Mzezewas) still stationed near the mountain. The Hadji clan in South Africa also uses Mbelengwa (with an 'L'from their local Venda language) to describe themselves. Mount Mberengwa is one of the highest mountains in Zimbabwe, but not as high as the mountains in the Eastern Highlands.
The indigenous languages spoken in Mberengwa are mainly Karanga and Ndebele. Pfumbi, a variation of Karanga which is also close to Kalanga, has also been spoken in chief Muketi areas. The Pfumbi quickly assimilated into the Karanga and most of them crossed Mwenezi river and settled in the Maranda and Shayamavhudzi areas in southern Masvingo. It is thought that Pfumbi used to be more widespread than this in the past before the onset of Shona as the compulsory vernacular language to be taught in schools.
There is evidence that the area was extensively mined for gold prior to the colonial era, and at Mundie Ruins, 250 oz of gold ornaments were found.
Mberengwa Rural District Council has 37 wards and Councillors. It comprises 4 parliamentary constituencies
The district is prone to droughts and high temperatures, but abundant in minerals like gold, iron ore, emeralds and asbestos. Buchwa Mine, Vanguard Mine, Sandawana and C Mine are all in Mberengwa.
It is known for its riches in minerals and fauna. Gold is mined at C Mine and other small claims mines scattered around Mberengwa. Emeralds are mined at Sandawana while Vanguard Mine was once a major player in asbestos production till the 1980s when asbestos lost its importance to the world. Chrome was mined at Rhonda and Inyala mines, but these closed down due to the effects of the Zimbabwean crisis and Zimbabwe's liberation struggle. Buchwa mine was a major Rhodesian source of Iron, and it's closure was also forced by the liberation struggle. Cattle ranching is a major farming activity in Mberengwa.
- [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019
- [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed), Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 8 August 2019"