Council to re-erect Joshua Nkomo statue

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late Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo

THE GOVERNMENT and the Bulawayo City Council have begun preparations to re-erect a statue of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo in the city.

Nqobile Bhebhe

Preparations for the erection of the statue, to be mounted along Main Street, began yesterday and are expected to be completed by October 18.

“The public is hereby informed of temporary and partial road closure of Main Street between L/Takawira Avenue and 9th Avenue for the installation of the late Joshua Nkomo statue by the Ministry of Public Works from September 2 to October 18,” a notice by the local authority reads.

In July, Nkomo’s daughter, Thandiwe Nkomo-Ebrahim confirmed the statue would be up soon. Plans to honour Nkomo through the mounting of a life-size statue have on previous occasions flopped due to lack of funding after an initial attempt in 2010 was reversed, as the Nkomo family complained at the government’s unilateral decisio

Civic society groups also protested at the erection of the statue, after it emerged that the statue had been built by North Koreans.

North Korea-trained members of the 5 Brigade were accused of killing more than
20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and the Midlands during the Gukurahundi era.
Nkomo’s only surviving son, Sibangilizwe, yesterday said he had not received any official communication on the statue.

“No one from the government has informed me about the statue,” he said. “I only heard this morning (yesterday) from people saying there is activity on the proposed statue site.

“But they are used to doing projects without communicating. I will have to check with other family members.”

Some State-sponsored projects to honour Nkomo have taken long to complete including the rehabilitation of Bulawayo Airport, which has been renamed after the late nationalist.