Greener Journal of Environmental Management and Public Safety

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Munyaradzi et al

Greener Journal of  Environment Management and Public Safety Vol. 1 (1), pp.007 - 016,November 2012

 ISSN: 2354-2276

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 102012123


Conservation conversations and community participation in the management of heritage sites in Zimbabwe


Munyaradzi Mawere, Munyaradzi Elton Sagiya, 
and Tapiwa R. Mubaya


Universidade Pedagogica, Mozambique
Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site
Department of History and Development Studies at the Great Zimbabwe University

Corresponding Author’s Email: munhamanuel @

br/munyaradzi.mawere @ uct. ac. za


In many African countries, heritage sites have since colonial period been rocked by multiple problems that demand effective conservation and sustainable management approaches if the sites are to continue thriving while benefiting the present and future generations. In Zimbabwe, National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ), the organization in charge of heritage sites scattered throughout the country, has after a series of problems realized that adopting a ‘solo-approach’ that excludes local communities in heritage conservation and management is counterproductive and potentially destructive as the locals feel excluded and denied the right to exploit what is rightfully theirs. As such, community participation in some cases has been adopted in conserving and managing heritage sites in the country yet with some limitations. This has been so chiefly because although community participation has recently become popular in the global heritage management discourse, its involvement has in many cases been considered problematic. This paper examines conservational management and networks around some heritage sites in Zimbabwe. As its case study, the paper adopts Chibvumani national monument, a heritage site whose custodianship has been given to a nearest primary school, Mamutse. It argues that positioning local traditional leadership at the periphery while the ‘official’ custodianship of heritage site is given to a primary school remains a stumbling block towards the success of conservation and sustainable management of the heritage site. In this light, the paper lobs for full recognition and active participation of all local communities around Chibvumani national monument to ensure successful conservation and sustainable management of the site. 

Keywords: Zimbabwe, adopt-a-site programme, heritage sites, Chibvumani, conservation, community participation, management

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