National museum gets new board of trustees

National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT has appointed retired Brigadier General Epmarcus Walter Kanhanga as the chairperson of the new five-member board of trustees of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe in an effort to protect and preserve the country’s heritage.

The board of trustees, enacted under the National Museums and Monuments Act [Chapter 25:11], is meant to administer museums and monuments in Zimbabwe and to provide for the establishment and administration of the museums among other functions.

The other four board members are Sara Baisai Feresu, Munyaradzi Manyanga, Virginia Madiro and Dictor Khumalo.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said the board was expected to improve the security of the national collections following incidents of looting of cultural heritage objects.

“Illicit trafficking in cultural objects has to be stopped both at the level of losses through theft from our museums as well as in communities where our people are enticed into parting with their heritage in exchange for small amounts of cash,” he said.

“For those objects, including human remains, that have already left the country, it is important that the board vigorously pursues their repatriation.”

He added: “It is also my expectation that the board will prioritise the finalisation of the amendment of the National Museums and Monuments Act so that these broadened responsibilities as well as new thinking in heritage protection and management are reflected in the organisation’s legal framework.”

Kazembe also said the board members should develop synergies with other local and international institutions, so that the country benefits from the expertise and experiences of others in the heritage management

He said after the appointment of the five-member interim board of trustees, government continued to search for the remaining board members from target institutions.

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