Takunda Maodza Manicaland Bureau Chief
TRADITIONAL leaders in Chimanimani are organising a cleansing ceremony in line with African tradition following the March 15 Cyclone Idai-induced disaster which killed hundreds and destroyed infrastructure worth millions of dollars.
The traditional leaders believe the disaster was somehow “a curse” and requires cleansing. Some had individually held cleansing ceremonies, but plans are now afoot for a massive ceremony involving all chiefs.
The ceremony is scheduled for next month at a venue to be announced, with Government supportive of the idea.
Chimanimani District Administrator Mr John Misi confirmed the development in an interview with The Herald.
“Traditional leaders have held cleansing ceremonies in all their areas like in Ngorima and Chikukwa, but a big one will be held involving all the traditional leaders next month,” said Mr Misi.
He said the traditional leaders did not believe the disaster was natural.
“Traditionally, they believe that the cyclone was a curse and they want to cleanse the area,” said Mr Misi. “The big Bira has been set for August.”
In an interview with The Herald in Kopa – another area that was devastated by the cyclone in Chimanimani – traditional leader Chief Ndima insisted that the disaster was “not natural”.
He said while relocating people from the affected areas appeared feasible, the cyclone was a mystery for which “only God” had answers. No immediate comment could be obtained from Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira yesterday as his mobile phone was not reachable.
Meanwhile, former Allied Timbers chief executive Dr Joseph Kanyekanye and Timbers Producers’ Federation chief executive Mr Darlington Duwa donated 4 000 blankets and maize meal to victims of the cyclone in Ngangu, Chimanimani last week.
“For me, it is partly personal and partly philanthropic in the sense that I started my early working career in Chimanimani as a sawmill manager,” said Mr Kanyekanye. “When I looked at the statistics of the deceased, one of them is a person that I employed and it touched me when I heard about it.” Mr Kanyekanye said working with other businesspeople they managed to mobilised the 4 000 blankets and 4 000 tonnes of maize meal for the survivors.