By Tendai Ndemera.
It was at the Kopje (Chihoka Hill) that the British settlers set up the Union Jack flag after displacement and massacre of the Mbari clan who lived there.
Members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) stationed at the Harare Kopje have distanced themselves from any rituals associated with the elders who first occupied that area.
Speaking to News Of The South, a cadre who said he was a member of the Presidential Guard, which has a bigger number assigned to duties at the kopje said the soldiers knew nothing about the history of the ancestors who first resided at the country’s most popular mountain. He said if one wished to know about the combatants, instead, one had to consult their bosses at One Brigade. He said the combatants were there as part of their duties to defend the kopje from malcontents as it is deemed as a tourist attraction from where many are capable of viewing the whole of Harare and its surrounding areas. He said many who visited the kopje on tourism missions were subsequently referred to the National Museum and Monuments for any history of the Kopje. Officials at the National Museums and Monuments Centre said they had never heard anyone claiming ownership of residence of the high kopje.
Told that relatives of the chief who first resided at the Kopje with his warriors, Chief Mbare, before he was forcibly removed by the white settlers had instructed members of the clan through spirit mediums, that they must conserve and maintain the kopje, the officials maintained that the only people with whom they have communicated over the matter are historians who are studying matters to do with such special monuments. One such history guru is Professor Claudius Mararike who they said has an insight in the rightful owners of the Kopje area.
They said the little background they have was that the original owners of the Kopje were called va-Mbari who were moved from there to Seke where they grouped as va-Harahwa. They narrated that before they were removed from the kopje area, the chief had vast pieces of land which covered areas like Harare, Chiweshe, Mount Hampden, Domboshava and some tracks of Mazowe up to Mvurwi. The officials who refused to give their names for security reasons, because of the alterations made to the original copies of history, it was now very difficult to connect originality with fiction, although many elders in the country at the moment know exactly who owned what and started this and that.
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