Hurungwe chieftainships at a glance

Hurungwe District is located in Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe and is fairly the largest district  in the province in terms of physical expanse and population. The main town is Karoi, which is located about 200kms from Harare by road. The district depends more on farming, with Tobacco being the main cash crop, followed by cotton. The chiefs in the district include: Chundu, Kazangarare, Dendera, Nematombo, Mujinga, Dandawa and Nyamhunga. There are a couple of service centers which include; Kazangare, Kasimhure, Nyamakate, Tengwe, Mwami, Zvipani, Chitindiva, Mudzimu and Chidamoyo, with Magunje being the main growth point, and one urban center at Makuti and National Park stations.

Chief Chundu

These are Tonga (Soli) by tribe of the Bere totem, with Nyagu as their chidau. They occupy the north-eastern part of the district and originally from the Zambezi escarpment. A lot of migration however took place since the displacement from the Zambezi river with families from nearby farms in the district coming in. Below is the Family Tree link for chief Chundu’s  lineage:


Chief Kazangarare

These are Korekore by tribe of the Nzou totem, with Samanyanga as their chidau. Their history is a bit vague but is known that they are descendents of Mutota and that they originally came from Guruuswa. At first their ancestors settled at the Dete Valley area and later left for Ruvanga  (their present area). Kazangarare gave his sons Dendera and Garara their own areas. Dendera got Ruvunze (an area in the farmlands) but was later moved to the Magunje area. Garara got an area called Dunga (also farms) but he didn’t get official recognition after the occupation and seems to have faded into oblivion.

Some of the kraals that constituted of the chiefdom included; Chitaunike, Gondo, Donora, Mukwesha, Kazungu, Nyakurazare, Kamuchenge, Matesanwa, Katena, Mafuwa, Washayanyika, Kachidza, Zau, Magwira, Varetta, Dandamira, Kapuka/Zuze, Zinyenge, Mafungautsi, Mukambi, Dipuka, Muroiwa/Karima, Muyengwa, Murehwa, Musikwenyu, Zvikonyo, Mupakati and Magwedebure.

The Family Tree for chief lineage is as follows:


Chief Dendera

These are Korekore by tribe of the Nzou totem, with Samanyanga as their chidau. They occupy the north-western part of the district which include Magunje growth point.


The group originally came from the Dande area of Chipuriro. They are descendants of Mutota and are related to chiefs Chisunga, Chitsungo, Kazangarare, all of whom have the same totem and chidau. Early ancestors are reputed to have been elephant hunters. One such ancestor, generally honored as having founded the Dendera chieftainship, was Chatsukameso (the one with red eyes), also known as Chatsurameso.  Chatsukameso parted company with his relatives (ancestors of chief Kazangarare, who he addresses as sekuru) at a place called Deve – a large vlei in the Mukwichi area. The name Dendera derives from the ground hornbill, It is said that Chatsvukameso, whilst on the trail of elephant during a hunting expedition, was pleased by the repeated low hooting sound of the ground hornbill. He stopped to enquire of his servants (varanda) what it was that gave this pleasant sounding call, but which was seldom seen. He was advised that it was the Dendera birds, and so the nickaname became attached to him. Succeeding chiefs have all ruled under this name. Some say it was Nyamavere who first assumed this name of Dendera.

They found people of the Tembo/Mazvimbakupa totem in the area when they arrived. These were subjects of a chief “Nyamusiya”. Fighting ensued, and the Tembo people are said to have fled to Zambia.

Some of the kraals include; Chiyangwa, Chigede, Mbereko, Chinyembere, Chigumbura, Chivere, Karenga, Dzunguichewa, Kangausaru, Ngorezha, Mashayamombe, Maguranyanga, Makanyaire, Matsika, Mazvimbakupa, Kawandi, Mahwadu, Wendera, Kandengwa, Magumbura, Makumbirofa, Dendera/Mupamombe, Chitemerere, Honzeri, Kwakwiyo, Matope, Mpokuta, Mudyavanhu, Joga, Makayi (new kraal 1967), Seremwe, Hondo, Kambamura, Zindanga, Zharare, Muchoraringa, Murimbika, Kandororo, Kapungu, Makumbe, Nziradzepatsva, Dzvete, Tadzimiwa/Banki, Bopoto, Maplanka, Mudekwa, Mutema, Gonga, Zunzanyika, Kadema, Matanga, Nyamufukudza, Sikanya, Kapengautowa, Nyamadzawo/Nzara, Zendanemago and Gawa.


The tribal trust land/European farming area fence forms one boundary, and the common boundary with Chanetsa and Nematombo is Murerezhi river.

Below are some of the chiefs who ruled the Dendera chiefdoms:

Dzakukameso, Nyamavere, Chinopisa, Mashonga, Mashorapayi, Muchenje, Mutarachisa, Nziramasanga, Murodza, Chivere (1910 to 1012), Chigede (1920 to 1928), Mupamombe (1930 to 1952), Mupanganeye Musokota (1959 to 1960), Kahama (1959 to 1960), Mutema Obert (1960 1966), Chenge (1966 to 1968), Mavunga Rameki (1968 to 1984 and Kerecheni (from 1984)


Chief Nematombo

These are vaBudya of Mutoko by tribe, though they now claim to be VaKorekore because of the language they speak. They are of the Shumba totem, with Nechinanga as their chidau. They occupy the western part of the district. Some headmen under chief Nematombo included  Chanetsa and Zimhowa. Chief Zimhowa  were Karanga by tribe of the Mhara totem with Chikonamombe as chidau. Then there was Chief Chanetsa who was downgraded to headman under chief Nematombo in July 1961. He was a Zezuru of the Nhari totem with Nyamakwembere as Chidau.


The ancestors are claimed to have migrated from Guruuswa and Mutoko and they claim to be descendents of Nehoreka. They were under the leadership of Dokotoko and were of the same migration as Makope (in Chiweshe Tribal Trust land). Dokotoko was not a chief, but merely an ordinary man or commoner. He came on a visit here and found the Marindi people near Gache gache. Dokotoko had two sons, Ngendongara and Chinehasha. They fought the Marindi people and drove them west of Sanyati river to Chief Msampakaruma’s country. Much later Chiefs Dandawa, Dendera, Matau, Mudzimu and headman Chanetsa, Mzilawempi and Nyamhunga, were moved into his traditional area, thus considerably reducing his domain. Even today, much of the area claimed by Nematombo permits of increased settlement. His country, he claims stretches from Tengwe river to the shores of lake Kariba – about 60 miles.

Some of the kraals under Nematombo included; Majinjiwa, Machona, Nyamadzawo, Matsika, Mazvauri, Paratema, Madima, Chigara, Mateta, Muuna, Wasakara, Chikwata, Bunda, Wamiridza, Kadowonda, Chawasarira, Chendamora, Ngoshi, Kademaunga, Masati, Gumiremhete, Jochore, Choto, Chitau, Dandaratsi, Zikonyo, Ziome, Soraidoma, Matenga, Kunzekutema, Makiwa and Meja Biri.


The western boundary is the 4-wire cattle fence; the southern is Tengwe river, whilst the eastern boundary is formed by a portion of the Tengwe and Murereshi rivers, then to Nyaodza  and then to the shores of Lake Kariba. Headmen Mzilawempi and Chanetsa both have their own defined areas of jurisdiction though they are part of Nematombo.

Below is the Family Tree link for chief Nematombo’s lineage:

Headman Chanetsa

Chief Chanetsa was downgraded to headman under chief Nematombo in July 1961. He was a Zezuru of the Nhari totem with Nyamakwembere as Chidau and now absorbed into Korekore. The tribe originally lived in the area known as Mbowe, which is Lomagundi district. The boundary was the Angwa river at a place called Siso, and then to Chikonohono hill, and then to the Manyami river (Hunyani), then to Silver Mine, then to Nadzuka (vlei). Originally, a man called Nyamakwere lived in this area. He had four eyes: 2 in front and 2 at the back. The original Chanetsa people are said to have migrated from Guruuswa and they sought assistance from Nyamuswa who also lived in this area under chief Nemakonde. Nyamuswa was the principal mhondoro and they asked him to come and fight for them against Nyamakwere. Thereafter, he gave them his son, Nyachawa, to be their mhondoro and to help them in the administration of their area.

The title Chanetsa , according to legend, derives from one Kamukapa, who went to the Makorekore to fetch certain tribal drums; he therefore “suffered for the country” – Chanetsa. Makumbe appears to have been the first one to use the title. Official records bear out the claim of the headman that he was previously a chief and they have not forgotten this and a claim for the restoration of the chieftainship is bound to come up in the future.

The group’s recent history is not very clear but it appears that they were moved into the present area circa 1942/43 and the area was regarded as belonging to Nematombo. The headman claimed that he was advised to move further down to the Musukwe river, where many of his subjects lived but he refused and hence remained in Nematombo’s area with no real boundary being defined. But later, when Land Husbandry commenced, an attempt was made to establish the boundary between Chanetsa and Nematombo. The old road to Zvipani was taken as the boundary in the west , but it’s not clear where was the boundary between Chanetsa and Mzilawempi.

Headman Mzilawempi Zimhowa

Are VaKaranga by tribe of Mhara totem and Chikonamombe as chidau. The group are a branch of Chief Mashayamombe of Chegutu/Hartley. They were under the control of Zimhowa (who is reputed to have been the first headman), and lived in the Gwelo district under chief Chiundura. After some years Mzilawempi led the people to Hurungwe where they were settled in Chief Nematombo’s area. People loyal to headman Chanetsa were living in the area and they were expected to give allegiance to Mzilawempi or move to Chanetsa’s own area further north. Some remained whilst other moved.

Some of the kraals who came with Mzilawempi were; Maplazi, Mufi, Sifelani, Tendekayi, Sichakala, Masocha/Mzilawempi, Muchakure, Fantiso, Matare, Kiwa, Matoto, Magama, Mafishi, Nikisi, Tachiona, Nyikadzino, Wurayayi, Sikonzapi, Matiki, Philip and Takanayi. Some of the kraals of vaKorekore who remained and didn’t move to Chanetsa’s area included; Makoshore, Karima, Beremauro, Charingana, Mudengezerwa, Nyakuziranga, Nyamutora, Nyarumwe, Waniridza, Mutungambera, Mukakatanwa and Dandaradze.


Chief Mujinga

These are Vambire (Korekore) by tribe of the Tembo  totem, with Mazvimbakupa  as their chidau. Circa 1899, one Chimusimbe who had come from Shangwe west of the Sanyati and married into the tribe, was appointed headman, by the then native Commissioner on 31 March 1900. He was appointed chief following the death of Kapuma despite objection from the tribe and even Chumusimbe himself.


The tribe is said to have originated from Guruuswa and are related to chief Chihota of Marondera. Mudanyota is the earliest known ancestor (Sikarudzi) and he found the country unoccupied when he arrived here. It’s said that Karimanzira migrated from Guruuswa leaving his father Mudanyota behind. Some of the kraals included; Bisheri, Chinyenze, Mujinga/Chieta, Dabvu, Dimba, Goremusandu, Kanongota, Kasengezi, Mazura, Makisi, Manhenga, Maravanyika, Marumazvitsva, Matambura Matiza, Muparaganda, Mandizha, Ndekeri, Nyamuderu, Nyawisa and Tavaguta.

When asked about the vast largely vacant Piriwiri area and of the possibility of settling more people therein, the chief agreed that they can accommodate more people but he emphasized that if the Government wanted to settle more people, let them not send more VaKaranga as they didn’t get along very well – they preferred other smaller groups of different  as VaKaranga would even usurp their chieftainship.


Commencing at the intersection of the Tengwe European farming area/tribal trust land fence with Tengwe river; then down the river to the confluence with Sanyati river and up Sanyati to the confluence with Piriwiri river, then up Piriwiri to the boundary of the tribal trust land and generally northwards along tribal trust land boundary to the starting point.

The chief lineage Family Tree is as follows:


Chief Dandawa

These are vaGova (Korekore) by tribe of the Tembo  totem, with Mazvimbakupa  as their chidau. Chieftainship was first recognized in 1900. In an attempt to steamline the tribal organisation, chiefs Dandawa and Chundu were ‘resigned’ and both tribal groups placed under one chief which proved unsuccessful. Headman Mudzimu is under chief Dandawa  and they are of Gumbo (Madyirapanze) totem and Korekore by tribe.

The Dandawa people, like those of Mudzimu, Chundu, Nyamhunga and others , originally lived along the Zambezi valley and their area was located close to Mana Pools game reserve. Their tribal boundaries were the Zambezi river (in the north), Sabi river in the east, Chikuti river in the south and the Mahongwe river in the west.

The group was moved to their present area, Rengwe in 1958 and when they moved to Rengwe, they found some VaKorekore people (ex Sipolilo district) in their present area. These kraals were assimilated into their chiefdom. Some of the kraals include; Matore(Gumbo/Madyirapanze), Matengaifa (Nzou Samanyanga), Katswere (Nzou Samanyanga), Katuma (Nzou Samanyanga), Manyembere , Munuwa (Nzou Samanyanga), Chiwanza (Nzou Samanyanga), Chagioma (Nzou Samanyanga), Mudzongachiso (Nzou Samanyanga), Zunza (Nzou Samanyanga), Nyamandu (Nzou Samanyanga), Mufurutsa (Nzou Samanyanga), Gwenzi (Nzou Samanyanga), Gwara (Mbano/Matemayi), Rukanzakanza (Mbano Matemayi), Tevedza (Shava Mhofu), Gunduza (Shava Mhofu), Tsungura (Shava Mhofu), Gwatura (Shava Mhofu), Mbamuchena (Shava Mhofu), Kangwara (Shava Mutenesanwa), Chishato (Shava Nematombo), Kondo (Shava Nechiromo), Ndoro (Shava Mufakose), Nyamawe/Chipangura (Bere Nyangu), Manzungu (Nhari Makwembere), Chisora (Shumba Nechinanga), Kufandirori (Shumba Nechinanga), Sirani (Mawongera), Varetta (Mawendera), Chitawu (Zambu Hwai), Gandawa (Mhizha Macheka-field mouse) and Mataruka (Mbiti/Mbire).

The kraals who were found in the area and assimilated included; Samvubu (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Dandawa/Matsviru (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Kamanura (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Goremusandu (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chidoma (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Nyarongwe (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chidyafodya (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Mugurameno (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Matiza (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Nyamukayiwa (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Patsikadova (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chifuradombo (Moyo Chirandu), Karoko/Guveya (Moyo Matere), Charewa (Moyo Matere), Majinjiwa (Moyo Nematombo), Chawasema (Soko Wafawanaka), Chiworeka (Soko Wafawanaka), Nyamaromo (Soko Wafawanaka), Tayena (Soko Wafawanaka), Chiyangwa (Soko Wafawanaka), Gwaze (Soko), Penyayi (Soko), Hutotso (Soko)

Below is the Family Tree link of chief’s lineage:

Headman Mudzimu

VaGova (Korekore) of the Gumbo, Madyirapanze totem. The tribe claims to be descended from one Nyamatinhiri (possibly another name for Mudzimu), who migrated northwards to Chirundu from Musana reserve in Bindura. Apparently relatives of Nyamatinhiri became tired  of the long journey from Guruuswa and settled in Musana. Others deflected to Gutu and Ndanga districts where the Gutu and Ndanga chieftainshis were set up.  All these chiefs taboo Gumbo (Mudzimu, Musana, Gutu and Ndanga). When Nyamatinhiri arrived at the Zambezi, where he decided to settle, they encountered the Vambara people and they conquered them leading them to flee to the northern part of the river. The country was called Gova (big river) and its boundaries were; to the north was the Zambezi river, to the east was Nyakasanga river (Dandawa) and to the west Share river (Nyamhunga). They lived east and west of where Chirundu bridge is now.

Around 1956, the entire community was moved to Hurungwe. They claim to have been told that they would drown if the dam wall will burst so they should move to the higher ground. The tribe comprised of about 13 kraals which included; Mudzimu (Gumbo Madyirapanze), Kapandura (Gumbo Madyirapanze), Nyakuritsika (Gumbo Madyirapanze), Bandora (Soko Wafawanaka), Karambamuhoro (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Nyamhondoro (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Kwarirandura (Nzou Samanyanga), Kawanje (Nzou Samanyanga), Nyamaropa (Matere of Nemakondo), Karenga( Matere of Nemakondo), Zvikonyaukwa (Shava mhofu), Masheedzanwa (Zambu Chuma) and Maringapasi.

Those who were found in the area and switched their allegiance to Mudzimu included; Muwaira (Soko Wafawanaka), Chirasasa (Shava Mhofu), Matenga (Shumba Nechinanga), Murasiwa, Mudzwamutsi, Jera, Marumezvitsva/Mhazi, Gasura 1, Mutauwa, Charuma/Kadyafodya, Mutematsaka, Kandiya, Coffee/Manenda and Gasura 11.

There were also some families who moved into the area mainly from Masvingo and these included; Manjongwa, Marangwanda, Muvengwa/Chitiki, Mudzingi/Chipere, Mukucha, Goromondo, Mangarai, Kwirirai, Musekiwa/Masiyanwa and Mapfuwamara.

Headman Matau

They are vaShawasha by tribe of Mbano Matemayi totem with Korekore as their language. Was recognized as headman in 1948. Originally, Matau and his people lived near mount Urungwe, along the upper reaches of the Rukomechi river. In the old days, Matau’s forebearers were sent up the Highveld to spot the vultures feeding on dead elephants shot by Dandawa’s hunters. This detection of vultures helped them to locate the dead elephants and they took the tusks to Chief Dandawa and this became a custom. This led to Matau being awarded headmanship by Dandawa. The group was also moved to the present day location in 1958. Headman Matau’s mhondoro is called Chinenyanga.

Some of the families under Matau were; Nyambaro, Dzorani, Bakasa, Kapesa, Murimbika, Kabatamuswe, Chiwara, Makanyaire, Gonye, Kademaunga, Nidzebonde, Uzambe, Chabata, Mandinda, Katemanyoka, Bvunzawabaya, Kachemaedza, Mande, Matau, Madzvambeya, Chapupu, Elias/Muvhitori, Munyuki, Bere, Gudure and Jangwa.

Regarding the boundaries; in the west is 8-ways fence with Chief Dandawa’s area, in the north is chief Nyamunga at Kanyati river, in the east is chief Nematombo where there is 4-way fence, with headman Mudzimu on the south.


Chief Nyamhunga

These are Korekore by tribe of the Gwai  totem, with Zambu/Munawa  as their chidau. They occupy the north-western part of the district. They were moved from Zambezi  around 1957 to pave way for Kariba Dam. It is believed that Nyamhunga is an offshoot of Gora from Goromonzi who then  moved  westwards and settled at the confluence of Sanyati and Zambezi rivers. Their Chisi days are Mondays and Thursdays. Tribal spirit was Nyanhewe. Related to Chiefs Nematombo, Dandawa and Headman Mudzimu who are all of the VaGova tribe. They do not eat the bones of a mutton for fear of losing teeth.


The tribe is said to have its origin from Guruuswa. Little is known about the past than that the early ancestors lived a peaceful, though backward existence along the Zambezi – some say they are an offshoot of Gora dynasty in Goromonzi. They were hunters and fishermen rather than agriculturalists – their crops were continually raided by elephants  and hippos. They were first moved to the Badze river area of Chief Nematombo. Here they found a lot of kraals “who were born under chief Nematombo but who had switched their allegiance to headman Matau (under chief Dandawa) whose area it had been proclaimed”. Then the area was stated to have been given to Nyamhunga, “so the people paid tribute to him rather than move to Matau or Nematombo areas.” These kraals were accepted into the community. Subsequent to this, Nyamhunga was given a difficult area (the present one), and some of the kraals found there chose to move with him, whilst others chose to remain behind and pay tribute to Headman Mudzimu.

The community is, for some reasons, a very loose one. There is little loyalty to the chieftainship by kraals other than those comprising the original community. Continual movement has not been conducive to building of a strong society. Little in the way of community development/local government can be expected until the people have settled down properly.

Kraals who were part of the original community at Gova are: Nyamhunga (Zambu), Chinokopota (Zambu), Kakwenya (Zambu), Mapfungautsi (Zambu), Karowamatanda (Zambu), Maurukira (Zambu), Karombe (Zambu), Chamononyonga ( Moyo Matere), Makudzashamba  (Shonga/Nechiru), Mpombwa     (Shava/Mhofu), Dzombe (Ngonya/Gushungo), Murota (Nzou/Samanyanga), Chimurewo (Nzou Samanyanga), Zambezi (Tembo/Mazvimbakupa) and Bakasa (Soko/Wafawanaka).

Those who left Nyamhunga community included; Chirovapasi, Makwenya, Mapfuwamara, Chisandau, Maringapasi, Muparaganda, Kandiye/Chikupo and Nyakasikana.

Those who were found in the area and changed their allegiance to Nyamhunga were as follows: Masanga (Ngonya/Gushungo), Chineviringa (Nhari/Unendoro), Zakariah (Nzou/Samanyanga), Mutinha (Nzou Samanyanga), Muparu (Shava/Mhofu), Bvungo (Shava Mhofu), Musauke (      Soko/Wafawanaka), Kapamara (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Chiumburukwe (Tembo Mazvimbakupa), Kanyurira (Mbano Mademayi), Mazindori (Zambu/Munawa), Jera 11 (Moyo Matere), Goredema (Shumba/Nechinanga).

Then later, there were VaVhitori who joined the chief who now regard themselves as per of the community were: Musekiwa, Mupandagwara and Kadondo.


Commencing at the intersection of the Kamazi river with the 4-strands cattle fence, then down the Kamazi to its confluence with Nyadara river, then up the Nyadara to its intersection with the 8 strand game fence, then along this fence  to its intersection with the 4-strand cattle fence , then along the fence towards the Karambazungu gate, past this gate and back to the starting point.

Some of the chiefs who reigned were as follows:

Zheke, Ndingi, Chisodza, Chipembere, Kufawepasi (01.07.1924 to 11.09.1961), Chinyandura (01.10.1961 to 30.06.1974), Mupandagwara (01.07.1964 to killed 16.06.1978), Kwaipa Zebedia (03.10.1978 to 19.12.1984), Chiyangwa (from 1984)

———————————————————————————————————By Misheck Samanyanga

Source: S2929/2/9-10

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5 Replies to “Hurungwe chieftainships at a glance”

  1. I thank GOD to come across such information concerning the history of our family.
    Born in southern part of Tanzania the place called Mbeya where I believe my great great grandfather came to settle from Zimbabwe, I didn’t know anything about my family due to the death of my father who passed away in September 1973 in road accident . At the age of 8 years old I didn’t know whom to ask until 2017 when I decided to go for DNA test that is where I started to find the whole root of my ancestors almost all over the world including Zimbabwe where they settled for many years.

    Thank you so much for this information and I will be glad if you may have more information about Shonga Empire or Makoni Kingdom please you can send to me through my email Address below.

    Thank you so much.

  2. I thank GOD to come across such information concerning the history of our family.
    Born in southern part of Tanzania the place called Mbeya where I believe my great great grandfather came to settle from Zimbabwe when they have been chased by king Tchakazulu and Zwangendawa, I didn’t know anything about my family due to the death of my father who passed away in September 1973 in road accident .
    At the age of 8 years old I didn’t know whom to ask until 2017 when I decided to go for DNA test that is where I started to find the whole root of my ancestors almost all over the world including Zimbabwe where they settled for many years.

    Thank you so much for this information and I will be glad if you may have more information about Shonga Empire or Makoni Kingdom please you can send to me through my email Address below.

    Thank you so much.

    1. Amazingly, my father also told us about his father who moved from Tanzania to Zimbabwe. We need to colaborate and investigate this piece of history to further understand our roots.

  3. Informative article thanx Misheck for unfolding the Hurungwe Chieftainships. Apparently I would like you to expound on Chisandau (Chieftainship and Totem and the origins and where they are now)

  4. I am not sure that it is accurate to say that the Mhara Chikonamombes are Karanga. I think they are Zezuru, with origins in Mashayamombe, Mhondoro where their relatives have always lived, vanaWatyoka, for example.

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