Zvimba district is located in Mashonaland West province, in central northern Zimbabwe, sharing bounderies with Guruve district to the north, Mazoe to the east, Harare to the south-east, Chegutu the south, Kadoma to the south-west and Makonde district to the west and north-west.
The Zvimba chieftainship was founded by Neuteve Chihobvu who migrated from Guruuswa (thought to be in present day Tanzania). Chihobvu was Neuteve’s father and is the founder of the tribe in Guruuswa. Neuteve left his father’s kingdom and travelled westwards in search of a country for himself. This was probably part of the same migration as such other chieftainships like Chiweshe, Chipuriro, Chivero, Chirau and Magondi. When he arrived in the now Zvimba area, he complained that his feet were swollen (Ndazvimba makumbo). He was thereafter nick-named Zvimba. At the time, the Rozvi governed the country and Tambare (thought to be Nemakonde) allocated the land to Neuteve, driving off Svinura’s people. Zvimba’s clan are of Gushungo totem with Zezuru as their main dialect with Korekore also in some areas.
Neuteve had three sons: Nemahunga, Negondo and Pokoteke. To the eldest, Nemahunga, was allocated a tract of land where Msengezi purchase area is today. Negondo married a sister of Gwenzi (a member of the Chivero community near Chegutu /Hartley), but was unable to father any children, so he invited his young brother, Pokoteke, who helped him to father Chambare and Pokoteke. These two were regarded as Negondo’s sons.
Zvimba family tree is as per the link below:
Neuteve’s successor in the Zvimba chieftainship was Negondo, who was followed by Pokoteke. The later gave a tract of land to Chambara (where Martinspur is today). This area was called Chikanga. Pokoteke himself retained control of the area between Karoi and Hunyani rivers. He married a Chikunda woman (from Portuguese East Africa) and had two sons , Kakomwe and Chidziva.
After Pokoteke’s death, Beperere assumed the chieftainship on the grounds that his elder brother Chambara, had his own inheritance (Martinspur farm). The news of the death was slow in reaching Chambara, but when he heard of it and came to pay his respects, he incited trouble. He wanted both areas, but many people backed Beperere, because Chambara had been away in his own area for many years and was regarded as a virtual stranger. Chambara had the support of Pokoteke’s sons, Kakomwe and Chidziva, and he sought and obtained assistance from the Rozvi, who had spears which instilled great fear.
Beperere’s people took refuge at a hill called Chakona, and were soon surrounded by Chambara’s warriors. Beperere summoned his sons to him and gave to each a horn of a wild animal, as follows: Baranje (eland), Nyamangara (kudu), Gwewera (sable), Dununu (tsessebe) and Chimbamauro (bush-buck). He himself had a horn carved from bamboo. They assembled in an unplastered hut on top of the hill and blew their horns in unison, giving off a terrifying din. A great wind arose and carried the hut (complete with occupants) to the far bank of the nearby Hunyani river. Beperere seeing the fear of his brother, shouted across the river: “You have failed “(wa kona) – hence the hill is called Chakona to this day.
Chambara was unable to cross the river, but shouted back: “Young brother, let us fight now for the country!” to which Beperere responded: ”Do you know what we are fighting over? Are we not brothers of the same womb? Is it not proper that each son should receive his inheritance? You, elder brother , have your country, this is mine!”
These words annoyed Chambara, who shot an arrow across the river at Beperere. The arrow landed into the sand near Beperere, who shouted: “So! It is you who has the audacity of war – yet you have no aim!”. He plucked the arrow from the sand, broke off the head, and spat on the shaft, saying: “Look, brother, my aim is true, but do not touch this arrow when it reaches you for you will surely die!” He shot it back across the water, on its way the arrow turned into a cockrel and settled on Chambara’s head, depositing its droppings in his hair. The BaRozvi loughed at him and withdrew their support. Thus Beperere got the country.
Chambara became insane and died shortly afterwards, and Beperere shared out the country amongst his sons. To Baranje, he gave Bangasefu (Banket) and he did the same to the other , with the exception of Chimbamauro, who began to sulk and beat his drums loudly every night until he was given land near Darwendale.
Thus originated the present subdivisions, of the Zvimba area: The chief’s own dunhu, and those of Dununu, Nyamangara, Chimbamauro and Nyamukanga (Chambara’s son).
Movements into and out of the area
Chief Mashayamombe tried to conquer Chief Zvimba’s people but was driven off. One, Chimanga, a kraal head from chief Nyandoro’s country, came to settle in Zvimba’s area, and was given a wife and a small piece of land. Chimanga is regarded as a “Muzukuru”, who officiates at the succession of chieftainship ceremonies. The following also came from other areas: Chitsinde, from Chief Hwata, Kutama from Chief Gutu, Mariga from Chief Nyashanu, Mucheri from vaRozvi. In recent times, Chief Nyabira’s people dispersed themselves, and many settled in both Chief Zvimba’s and Chief Chirau’s countries. In addition, Madzima moved from Chief Njanja, Runganga from Chief Mutasa, Chaparadza from Gokwe and Masiyarwa from Chief Chihota.
On the other hand Chief Serima moved out to Serima tribal trust land. Chief Serima shares the same totem (Tsiwo/Ngonya).
Maita Gushungo,VokwaNzungunhokotoko,Muchero waNegondo,Maita Tsiwo, Usavi hwavamwe varume,Vambwerambwetete,Kugara pasi kusimuka zvinohwira vhu,Musati hutukwa,Mutupo ndowenyu,Tatenda varidzi venyika,Vakabva Guruuswa,Varidzi vamazhanje.Maita vokwaZvimba,Vazere muChakona, Vene vamachiri namakute,Vano kutizira kunenge kudyara nzungu,Vakapangura nyika inoIchakatsitswa nezamu,Vomutupo weGushungo,Vari chipata, Zambezi naMaringohwe,Aiwa mwana waZvimba,Zvaitwa vaNgonya.
Compiled by: Misheck Samanyanga
Source: Mainly National Archives