MASVINGO – The Government of Zimbabwe is in the process of renaming Tokwe–Murkosi Dam to Tugwi–Mukosi as its current name is adulterated Shona used by colonialists. The water body will also no longer be referred to as a dam but a lake.
Tokwe–Murkosi Dam will therefore become Lake Tugwi – Mukosi.
Tokwe–Murkosi is Zimbabwe’s largest inland water body recently commissioned by President Mugabe after construction was completed by Salini of Italy.
Both names of the dam are adulterated as Tokwe is supposed to be Tugwi and Murkosi is supposed to be Mukosi. The current official name which is on the construction contract is Tokwe–Murkosi and this could not be changed before or during the process of construction because there were legal implications.
The issue of the change of name was raised at a meeting of the ministerial taskforce set up to prepare for the development of a master plan of the dam held in Masvingo recently.
Engineer Tinayeshe Mutazu who is the director of Water Resources Planning and Management in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate confirmed the process at an experts meeting held at Benjamin Burombo in Masvingo.
He also urged different Government Ministries to come up with a frame work that would guide development at the dam.
“We are moving to correct the name from Tokwe-Murkosi Dam to Tugwi-Mukosi Lake because the name the rivers that feed into the dam are Tugwi and Mukosi.
The dam will also be changed to a lake.
“The change of the name will be officially announced through a Government Gazette after due process. Tokwe–Murkosi was coined by the colonial regime when the dam was at the planning stages in the 1950s, the changes could not be done because of the legal implications to the agreement signed between Government and Salini that constructed the dam under the name Tokwe–Murkosi which is what is on the maps,” said Eng Mutazu who is also chair of the inter-ministerial taskforce.
Chivi Rural District Administrator Mafios Hlabati welcomed the proposed change and said calling it a Lake will enhance its status.
Chivi–Mwenezi Senator Josaya Hungwe said Tugwi means an overflowing river.
“Tokwe is not a Shona name , the correct name is Tugwi which means a river that is full of water likewise Shurugwi means kuzara kokuenda mudenga (full to the skies), Tugwi kuzara kwegwizi,” said Hungwe. – Masvingo Mirror