Zimbabwe — A VELD fire swept through Old Bulawayo on Monday, reducing King Lobengulas capital to ashes.
The fire, which started five kilometres from the historic site, destroyed the kings kraal, wagon shed, a house built for him by missionaries, the palisade and eight beehive huts including the Kings palace.
Everything was burnt save for the information centre that was officially opened by the late Vice-President Joseph Msika, Lonke Nyoni of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe said on Wednesday.
Fire fighters battled the flames for several hours, Nyoni said, but strong winds militated against their efforts.
In 1993, the government backed the reconstruction of Lobengulas residence which was abandoned in 1881 in response to colonial threats to his political power. The work was completed in 1997 with the help of royal experts from KwaZulu Natal.
Nyoni said it could cost millions to reconstruct the 2 hactare heritage site which is 17km from Bulawayo.