Voices from the village: local perspectives on the empowerment of women through CBNRM in Tsholotsho District, Zimbabwe
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Tsholotsho has 20 wards, 20 Councillors composed of one woman, one white man and 18 black men. The woman is the Councillor for Ward 7, which is the focus of the paper. The Ward has a population of 8 191 with 650 San Khois and the rest of them are Ndebeles. The San Khois are the minority ethnic group in Tsholotsho and are marginalised. There have been certain projects targeted at these people. When the Ndebele came to the District in 1953, the San Khois were already settled in area. These Ndebele people were moved from Matopo during the colonial era when the land that they occupied was gazetted for commercial fanning purposes. These San Khois were hunters and gatherers, meaning that they relied on the forest for livelihood, whereas the Ndebele were pastoralists/ agriculturists. There was a lot of vegetation in the areas that they lived in because they did not use trees. The problem that was encountered when the Ndebele moved to Tsholotsho is that it took time for the two groups to integrate because they were both afraid to meet each other and relate closely.