Zunde raMambo as a traditional coping mechanism for the care of orphans and vulnerable children: evidence from Gutu District, Zimbabwe
This study sought to examine the feasibility of rejuvenating and strategically repositioning the Zunde raMambo (King’s granary) as a traditional orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) coping mechanism in Zimbabwe with a special reference to Gutu District. The study was motivated by the intellectual and theoretical paucity of a harmoniously synchronised and integrated approach of OVC coping strategies. Particularly, addressing the centralization of the Zunde raMambo community oriented OVC coping strategy caused by colonialism in Gutu District was the main thrust of this study. The basic human needs and Ubuntu philosophy were used as the underlying theories of this study. Focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews were used to collect data from the OVCs, care-givers and key informants. The study established that the Zunde raMambo OVC mechanism which was formerly and traditionally owned by the communities is now centrally owned and controlled by the government. The traditional leaders who were formerly custodians of this cultural intellectual heritage have been absorbed into the mainstream of modern government and politics in contravention to their core traditional ethics. The implementation of the Zunde Ramambo in the local rural communities is cosmetically packaged in modern contemporary strategies such as the policy and legislative frameworks. These contemporary strategies are formulated and implemented through a top-bottom or elite-mass approach that does not promote ownership and participation of the local communities in their programmes.
Keywords: Zunde RaMambo, Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVCs), Basic Human Needs Theory