The National Monuments conservation programme is de-centralized to regional stations, and coordinated from Head Office. The programme endeavours to engage the various stakeholders and of particular note is the strategy to involve local communities.
A Conservation Centre at Great Zimbabwe specialises in the care of dry stonewalls so-called Zimbabwe. The centre is the only one of its kind in the SADC region.
More sites are due to be included on the National Monuments List, for example, the National Heroes Acre and all the other Heroes acres.
The National Monuments list
Zimbabwe’s National Monuments list was first created in 1936. To date there are 137 sites in the register. The register is a prime list of places that embody the history of Zimbabwe embracing key aspects of heritage such, religion, language, culture, buildings, human conflicts and human actions on the environment. The list also includes places of outstanding natural beauty.
Sacred National Monuments
A number of National Monuments are considered sacred by the Indigenous populations of Zimbabwe. Religious ceremonies were held at the sites. Rainmaking ceremonies were performed before the onset of the rains, and thanksgiving after harvest in May. Other ceremonies were for cleansing and healing.
- Great Zimbabwe
- Domboshava Cave
- Mzilikazi’s Grave
- Tohwechipi’s grave
- Mhakwe Cave
- Mutota’s Ruin
- Lobengula’s Grave
- Nharira Hills
The National Monuments list as presently constituted is dominated by monuments of the Rhodesian period. This is surprising given that this country has at least 3000 years of occupation history. Most sites were listed by the Rhodesian government, with only 8 sites having been listed after the attainment of independence in 1980.Twenty-seven sites have been identified for proclamation as National Monuments and nominations documents are being prepared.
Rhodesian period and Portuguese monuments - 38%
Rock Art sites - 21%
Zimbabwe Ruins - 19%
Other sites -22%