Ivan Murambiwa has extensive expertise and experience in the cultural heritage sector, having spent the last three decades in various positions of responsibility. He is a former Director of the Mutare Museum and is currently Director of the National Archives of Zimbabwe since February 2000.
During that period Ivan has had a conspicuous presence in national, regional and global conversations on the role of culture and the information science sectors in human development.
Born in Chivhu, Zimbabwe, on 20 October 1965, Ivan’s formative years were in the rural village of Unyetu where he fell in love with story-telling and social cohesion in rural setups. He attended Unyetu Primary School, Rujeko Primary School, Dangamvura High and Chinhoyi High. His educational qualifications include a BA Honours in History and a Masters in Business Administration, both from University of Zimbabwe, as well as a Master of Philosophy (Heritage Management) from Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge (UK). He is recipient of a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship in 1990. In 1991 Ivan became a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society.
As Director of the National Archives of Zimbabwe, Ivan oversees public sector records management in Zimbabwe as well as acquisition, preservation and promotion of national historical collections. He has a staff compliment of 133 that includes 36 Archivists. Ivan’s notable achievements at National Archives of Zimbabwe include the following;
- Listing of Nehanda/Kagubi trial transcripts on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
- Localising staff development opportunities through lobbying local universities to offer records and archives management programmes. He was particularly influential in the pioneering records and archives management programmes at the National University of Science and Technology.
- Successfully negotiating for the return from South Africa of some of the nation’s migrated archives.
- Establishing digitisation partnerships during a constrained international relations climate. Currently the National Archives is digitising the catalogued film collection thanks to a grant from FIAT and the Swiss National Commission for UNESCO. Negotiations are also underway with the French for the digitisation of the rest of the film and sound collection.
- Completing high-profile publications: National Archives of Zimbabwe75@30 book and Philatelic Treasures of the National Archives of Zimbabwe.
Ivan has also held leadership positions within the regional and global museum and archives networks. This includes stints (2001-2003; 2015-2017) as ESARBICA President and Executive Board member of the International Council on Archives. Other positions of responsibility in international archives management include Team Leader for Preservation and Disaster Preparedness, ICA programme Commission (2007-2008) and FIDA Trustee (2013-2017).
Ivan keeps abreast with trends in the culture and information science sectors and is currently a part-time Lecturer in the Records and Archives Management Department at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe. He was previously a part-time Lecturer, Cultural Heritage, Masters in Heritage Studies Programme, at the University of Zimbabwe.
In retirement Ivan looks forward to more time for his other hobbies. He is a keen traveller, writer and sports enthusiast. Concerning the latter he lends passionate support to soccer and cricket at the national level. Ivan is married to Clara and has been blessed with three daughters and two sons.
All journeys come to an end. Ivan is looking forward to early retirement next year (2020) and hopes by then that the National Archives of Zimbabwe will have overseen an orderly transition to digital records and archives management platforms in the Zimbabwe public sector. The biggest regret for Ivan was being at the helm of the National Archives of Zimbabwe during the two national economic crises (2000-2008 and 2019), which saw accelerated decay in national records and archives management capacity.