By Peter Chawapiwa
MASHAVA – History was revived recently when Chief Bere was installed at a colourful ceremony held at Bere High School.
The installation of Phineas Tafirei as the inaugural leader of the revived Bere chieftaincy marked the end of 125 years of its abolishment.
The chieftaincy was destroyed by early colonial settlers because the then chief was resisting occupation by repeatedly cutting telegraph wires between Masvingo and Bulawayo.
The Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Ezra Ruvai Chadzamira, who presided over the installation ceremony, said Tafirei was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in July 2018 in terms of the Traditional Leaders Act.
“We are here today to witness and celebrate the appointment of Phineas Tafirei as Chief Bere by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. His ancestor Chivungavunga lived here until 1925 and he was removed because of the fertile farming land.
“The Land Apportionment Act of 1930 finally abolished his chieftainship which had earlier been taken away from him by the white settlers,” said Chadzamira.
After being expelled from their ancestral land, the Bere clan went to settle in various parts of the country including Chirumanzu, Gutu, Zaka and Hwange.
Before his appointment as chief, Tafirei, who was born on January 12, 1936, was living in Zaka district.