Nyore Madzianike Senior Reporter
This best explains how the infamous empire that the late Kimpton Mutambara built and his family survived the brunt of Cyclone Idai which hit the country last month.
The empire was built a few metres away from the banks of Umvumvumvu River in Gonzoni under Chief Mutambara.
Umvumvumvu River meanders from the Eastern side of the compound flowing to the West passing the Mutambara’s houses on the Southern end.
Cyclone Idai destroyed fields which were close to its banks sweeping away the banana and mango fruit trees. It also enlarged the river eating away it’s banks leaving large boulders on its bed as it approached closer to the Mutambara kingdom.
It has not been established how many people are staying at the compound as no one is allowed anywhere near.
The beliefs and the way of life for Kimpton’s family has not changed since the death of the ‘head’ of the family and builder of the kingdom.
No one is allowed into the compound, no one is allowed to interact with the family members and they remain excluded from the rest of the world.
Any attempts by other villagers to encroach into their premises would be received with serious threats and to some extent punishment.
The family is known for their cultural extremism as has been inculcated in them by their late father.
Two of the siblings, who escaped from the compound and chose to live differently, are no longer allowed back into the family. Reports say one of them is now a police officer while the other is in South Africa.
“They have not changed since the death of their father and they do not want to interact with other villagers,” said a villager who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“No one is allowed to enter their compound and if you trespass into their yard they will set dogs on you or attack you with bows and arrows,” said the villager.
Interestingly, the family is a beneficiary of the irrigation scheme in their area as one of the canal flows direct through their yard.
Some of the irrigation infrastructure was built right into their yard
When The Manica Post visited the family to evaluate the extent of damage caused by cyclone Idai to infrastructure in their area, they denied the crew entrance into their yard.
Those allowed should be in the company of a police or army officer who would be donning uniform. It was after a spirited effort to convince them that they only agreed to show the crew areas ravaged by cyclone.
The agreement was that the crew moves to the river using some footpaths outside the yard.
“You have to take the footpaths outside our yard and we meet at the river. There is no way you can get in here because you have nothing to do with our way of living. If you are not agreed to that, then you have to go back where you came from.
“We do not know your motive and the reason why you are insisting on entering into the yard. Go back and bring police so that we know you do not have other motives,” said one of the sons who refused to give his name.
Upon reaching the point where the cyclone had damaged the irrigation scheme, one of the family members Matekenya Mutambara said:
“This is where the cyclone damaged the canal.
It took away what was built by the Government. We had to construct a makeshift intake after it was damaged. We are lucky that it did not destroy our houses.” Matekenya could not be drawn into revealing on the set up of their compound. He however, appealed to Government to quickly intervene saying they were also relying on the irrigation scheme for survival.