Traditional Ndebele society operated as a state before the advent of colonialism in Zimbabwe. There were political institutions that started with the family and the village, up to the king. In all these institutions conflict was part of life and it had to be resolved an amicable fashion, often by means of mediation. Some institutions of mediation are still found in present day Ndebele society. Mediation in Ndebele is not employed when conflicts occur. However it is an institution in anticipation and mediators for various types of conflicts are known and are in place to resolve any conflict that may occur.
A mediator is respected and cannot be part of the conflict. Mediators are found in all forums of conflict in Ndebele. When two people are in conflict there is always a third person ready to go between them to stop and resolve the conflict. Interests, marriage, generation gap, families, power and resources are sources of conflict in Ndebele society; in all these instances mediation can be employed as a means to resolve existing conflicts.