The Department of National Museums and Monuments on Tuesday revealed that it has not rehabilitated the Old Bulawayo monument, which was destroyed by a veld fire about two years ago because it does not have the $50 000 required for the job.
The department's director for the western region, Moria Fitzpatrick, said they had not received a favourable response to their appeal for funds for the rehabilitation from donors.
One of King Lobengula's descendants, Peter Zwide Khumalo, on Tuesday said failure to repair Old Bulawayo was a blow to the cultural heritage of Matabeleland.
He said the Khumalo royal family was not consulted on the project including the need to raise funds.
"It is a social disaster if you consider the cost invested in the building of the site including the beehive huts," Khumalo said.
"The continued neglect of Old Bulawayo, recognised as a national heritage site by government, is a blow to local culture and the education of our children who have to learn about their history."
He said the government was in charge of the historical site and should ensure it was rehabilitated to promote tourism in the city of Bulawayo.
A local analyst said government was not only neglecting Old Bulawayo, but other heritage sites in the Matabeleland region like Gadade and Pupu.
On August 24, 2010, a fire that started 5km from Old Bulawayo destroyed King Lobengula's kraal, wagon shed, a house built for him by missionaries, the palisade and eight beehive huts – including the King's palace.
In 1993, the government backed the reconstruction of Lobengula's 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, South Africa.