The first chief of the recently resuscitated Bere chieftainship in Masvingo, Mr Phineous Tafirei, has died, barely two years after his investiture.
He was 85.
Chief Bere died a few days ago after a short illness at Ndanga District Hospital with close relatives refusing to disclose the exact date of his demise, citing cultural restrictions of their clan.
Sources said the late chief’s remains have since been interred privately according to the Bere clan customs and tradition, though the official funeral will be held tomorrow.
Top Government officials, including Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Ezra Chadzamira, are expected to attend the funeral.
The late Chief Bere was installed in 2019, becoming the first chief of the clan in 125 years after the colonial government banished the chieftainship for resisting Rhodesian rule.
Family spokesperson Mr David Masomere today confirmed Chief Bere’s passing away, but could not be drawn into revealing further details, citing clan tradition.
Mr Masomere could also neither confirm nor deny swirling rumours that the late chief’s remains had since been buried privately according to the clan’s customs.
The late chief was of the Shumba totem and his area of jurisdiction stretched from Mashava to the west and Bhuka in the south east.
The Bere chiefdom borders Zimuto, Charumbira and Chivi chiefdoms.