The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
THE Government has started the process of declaring a national monument.
The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) recently wrote to the Bulawayo City Council seeking the local authority’s consent in the declaration.
Last year the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Cde Kazembe Kazembe ordered officials in his Ministry to start the process noting that the tree, which is located Connaught and Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue along Joshua Mqabuko Street, was of great national heritage.
In a letter written to Bulawayo Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube, the regional director of the natural history musuems, Dr Moira Fitzpatrick said the upgrading of the site into a national monument is being done as an effort to recognise the contributions of the first Chimurenga as part of the liberation heritage in the country.
“National Museum and Monuments of Zimbabwe at the request of the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Cde Kazembe Kazembe is in the process of nominating the Hanging Tree in Bulawayo to become a national monument.
“The tree which is of historical importance as it was used during the height of the first Umvukela/Ndebele uprising in 1896 to hang nine African men found guilty by settler leaders for spying for Ndebele against occupation of the land. The upgrading of the site into a national monument will see the site being given national recognition,” reads part of the letter.
Over the years, historians have called on the Government to declare the hanging tree- a False Marula tree- as a national monument and a have a plaque erected to give details of its historical significance.