MWENE MUTAPA : THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF A EMPIRE
ROBERT MUGABE THE REBIRTH OF GREATER ZIMBABWE
Mwene Mutapa Kingdom, also spelled `Mwene Matapa`, `Monomotapa`, or `Munhumutapa`, Shona-speaking kingdom of Karanga people of the 1400s to 1600s in what is now Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Mwene Mutapa is Shona for Ravager of the Lands, and was also the title held by the dynasty of kings who ruled the territory, which lay between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers.
Their domain was often called the empire of the Mwene Mutapa, or simply Mutapa, and is associated with the historical site known as Zimbabwe, in the southeastern part of modern Zimbabwe. The Mutapa state is often linked to the impressive stone ruins that dot Zimbabwe, notably at the historic city of Great Zimbabwe. Mutapa`s rulers enjoyed great wealth from gold mining in the kingdom and trading with other peoples.
Oral traditions offer different accounts of the kingdom`s origin. Some say that the semi-mythical founder Mbire laid the groundwork in the 1300s for his great-great-grandson Nyatsimba`s rapid development of the kingdom a century later. A more common view holds that Mutota and his son Matope founded the kingdom in the first half of the 15th century. It is agreed, however, that the Mutapa kingdom was quite powerful during the 15th century.
Toward the end of the 1400s the Changamire (also known as Rozwi) state splintered off, and other dynasties either broke away from the Mutapa state or evolved independently. In the latter half of the 16th century, Portuguese forces, which had moved in from southern Africa`s east coast beginning in the 1530s, invaded the Mwene Mutapa`s realm. This Portuguese intrusion was welcomed by Gatsi Rusere, reigning Mwene Mutapa from 1589 to 1623, whose authority faced threats from a rival political faction, an impending civil war, and invasion by neighboring peoples.
Gatsi became dissatisfied with his commanders` military efforts and had several of them executed, touching off a protracted civil war, which, because one of those executed was his uncle, became a dynastic feud. The Portuguese, who recruited several thousand African warriors from the area around Lake Malawi, were brought in to help the Mutapa stabilize matters, but their price was a treaty that ceded land, including gold mines and other mineral resources. When Gatsi`s son and heir, Nyambo Kapararidze, attempted to expel the Portuguese in 1629, they deposed him and forced his successor to grant them extensive trading and mining privileges, effectively undermining the last vestiges of his power.
By the end of the 17th century, the Rozwi empire had defeated and absorbed the weakened Mutapa state. The Munhumutapas (Mwene Mutapas) continued to rule as minor chiefs until 1902, when the last Mutapa, Chioko, was killed while fighting the Portuguese.
MWENE MUTAPA: A HISTORICAL EMPIRE OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
The Empire of Great Zimbabwe also called Mwene Mutapa or Manhumutapa or Mhunhumutapa or Monomotapa or Mutapa or Mwanamutapa was a medieval kingdom (400-1629) located in Southern Africa covering mainly the modern states of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Its capital city was the Great Zimbabwe.
The empire was established by the Gokomere who are the descendents of the modern day Shona people. Great Zimbabwe reached its zenith around the 1440s) vai the Gold trade. God was exported from the empire to the port of Sofala south of the Zambezi delta, where Arab traders waited.
The Portuguese began their attempts to subdue the Shona state as early as 1505 but were confined to the coast for many years. Fernand Braudel asserts, by 1513. The fabrics of Gujarat fabrics were traded for gold along the coast. Soon the pressures from European and Arab traders began to change the balance of power in the region.
The Monomotapa Empire was being torn apart by rival factions, and the gold from the rivers they controlled was exhausted. The trade in gold was replaced by a trade in slaves. Around this time the Arab states of Zanzibar and Kilwa became prominent powers by providing slaves for Arabia, Persia and India. (Braudel p. 430)
The empire was finally conquered in 1629 by the Portuguese and never recovered. Remnants of the government established another Mutapa kingdom in Mozambique sometimes called Karanga. The Karanga kings were called Mambos (plural version) and reigned in the region until 1902.
The Mwenes or Monomatapas of the first Mutapa state:
◾;Nyatsimba Mutota (c. 1430–c. 1450)
◾;Matope Nyanhehwe Nebedza (c. 1450–c. 1480)
◾;Mavura Maobwe (1480)
◾;Mukombero Nyahuma (1480–c. 1490)
◾;Kakuyo Komunyaka (1494–c. 1530)
◾;Neshangwe Munembire (c. 1530–c. 1550)
◾;Chivere Nyasoro (c. 1550–1560)
◾;Chisamharu Negomo Mupuzangutu (1560–1589)
◾;Gatsi Rusere (1589–1623)
◾;Nyambo Kapararidze (1623–1629)
The Mwenes or Monomatapas of the second Mutapa state:
◾;Cangara II (1803 - 1804)
◾;Mutiwapangome (1804 - 1806)
◾;Cipfumba (1806 - 1807)
◾;Nyasoro (1807 - 1828)
◾;Cimininyambo or Kandeya II (1828 - 1830)
◾;Dzeka (1830 - 1849)
◾;Kataruza (1849 - 1868)
◾;Kandeya III (1868-1870)
◾;Cioko Dambamupute (1887-1902)
The empire had another indirect side effect on the history of Southern Africa. Gold from the empire inspired in Europeans a belief that Munhumutapa held the legendary mines of King Solomon as referenced in the Bible. The belief that the mines were inside the Munhumutapa kingdom in Southern Africa was one of the factors that led to the Dutch East India Company founding the Cape colony, which would eventually lead to the creation of the country of South Africa.
This is not to suggest that the legends were the primary cause for founding the colony (its purpose was to be a half-way stop where EIC ships could pick up supplies to and from India) but it was widely used among the less educated populace to recruit early colonists. Some recordings suggest that most of the early colonists dreamt of finding the legendary city of gold in Southern Africa, a belief mirroring early South American colonists search for El Dorado and quite possibly inspired by it.
Ironically South Africa did have the greatest known gold reserves on earth in what is now Johannesburg, but it would take well over two hundred years before it was discovered and the city founded. In other words Southern Africa's legendary city of gold didn't exist, but the descendents of those colonists would end up building one. Johannesburg is still often referred to a the "city of gold" and in fact its name in nearly all indigenous languages translates as exactly that (compare Gauteng in Sotho and Egoli in Zulu).
MWENE MUTAPA: ROBERT MUGABE THE BIRTH OF A NEW GREATER ZIMBABWE
Robert Gabriel Mugabe: moo-GAH-bee; Shona pronunciation: born 21 February 1924) is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the national liberation movements against white minority rule, he was elected as Prime Minister, head of government, in 1980, and served in that office until 1987, when he became the country's first executive head of state. Having been repeatedly re-elected, he retains this post to this day. He has led the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) since 1975.
Robert Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the Secretary General of ZANU during the conflict against the conservative white minority government of Ian Smith. Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974. Upon release Mugabe, along with Edgar Tekere, left Rhodesia in 1975 to re-join the fight during the Rhodesian Bush War from bases in Mozambique.
At the end of the war in 1979, Mugabe emerged as a hero in the minds of many Africans. He won the general elections of 1980 after calling for reconciliation between the former belligerents, including white Zimbabweans and rival political parties, and thereby became Prime Minister on Zimbabwe's independence in April 1980.
The following years saw a split between ZANU–PF and ZAPU, the two key parties which had fought against the Rhodesian government during the 1970s, nominally alongside each other from 1976. ZANU–PF accused ZAPU of plotting a coup. Following the Gukurahundi campaign of the 1980s, during which Mugabe's forces killed thousands of ZAPU supporters in Matabeleland, ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo signed an agreement whereby ZAPU was merged into ZANU–PF. In 1998, the Mugabe administration supported the Southern African Development Community's intervention in the Second Congo War by sending Zimbabwean troops to assist the government of Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Some commentators called Zimbabwe's intervention a tactic to bolster its economy by controlling the Congo's natural resources.
Since 2000, the Mugabe-led government embarked on a fast-track land reform program to forcefully correct the inequitable land distribution created by colonial rule. The period has been marked by economic sanctions, which after their introduction in 2002 led to the deterioration of the Zimbabwean dollar. Mugabe's policies have been condemned by europeans internationally, as well as praised by other African countries where land was hoarded by the European minority, such as South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. As a result, criticism from the British and U.S. governments has been especially harsh. Eventually a wide range of sanctions, including a credit freeze through Section 4 C of the Zimbabwe Democracy And Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZDERA) was imposed by the United States and the European Union against the person of Mugabe, individuals, private companies, parastatals and the government of Zimbabwe.
In August 2008, Robert Mugabe suffered a narrow defeat in national presidential elections but won the mandatory run-off elections (mandated in subsection 3 of Article 110 of the 2004 Zimbabwe Electoral Act) in a landslide after opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the race, and extended a hand to the opposition with the signing of a power-sharing deal with opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-T and MDC-M opposition party.
On 3 August 2013, the Zimbabwe Election Commission said Mugabe won his seventh term as president defeating Morgan Tsvangirai with 61 percent of the vote.
MUGABE: INDEIGENIZATION & BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
On March 9, 2008, Zimbabwe's President, Robert Mugabe signed the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Bill into law. The bill was passed through parliament in September 2007 by President Mugabe’s party, Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), in spite of resistance by the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). President Robert Mugabe said his drive to give black Zimbabweans greater control of the southern African economy will continue “unabated” following his “resounding” endorsement in the July 31 elections. “The indigenization and empowerment drive will continue unabated in order to ensure that indigenous Zimbabweans enjoy a larger share of the country’s resources.” Mr Mugabe says giving black Zimbabweans control of the business sector is the next step and said the election result had given him a "resounding mandate" to do so. “We will do everything in our power to ensure our objective of total indigenisation, empowerment, development and employment is realised,” he told a public rally to mark the annual Defence Forces Day. He said the policy was the “final phase of the liberation struggle” and “final phase of total independence”.