ZANU PF plans to rename Victoria Falls and several other landmarks after some of the country’s heroes in a shock move that is likely to have a negative impact on tourism.
The world famous Victoria Falls was named in honour of Queen Victoria by Scottish explorer David Livingstone. Zanu PF’s committee on sports, culture, religion and liberation war heritage made the strange resolution at the party’s annual conference which ended in Chinhoyi on Saturday.
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, who chaired the committee, said it did not make sense for colonial names to remain in place in an independent Zimbabwe.
“Institutions bearing colonial names must be changed and be given indigenous names . . . School syllabuses must also change,” he said.
“We should teach our children about Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, General (Josiah Magama) Tongogara and other gallant fighters of our liberation struggle.”
War veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda said there was no going back on the resolution.
“We still have institutions like Allan Wilson School. What an insult considering what that man did to our country,” he said.
“David Livingstone was not the first person to see the Victoria Falls, they (the falls) must be rebranded Mosi Oa Tunya.
“We have soldiers living at KG V1 (King George). How can we have our barracks continue to be named after a foreign king?”
Sibanda dismissed fears that renaming the Victoria Falls would negatively impact on tourism.
“People are not visiting (Queen) Victoria, but the falls,” he said.
“If they want to see the legacy of Victoria, her grave is there in England and they are free to do so.
“Very soon they will be landing at Robert Mugabe International Airport,” said the firebrand war veterans’ leader.”
Just after independence, Zimbabwe changed the names of major roads throughout the country, replacing colonial ones with those of liberation war fighters.
Former Education minister Anneas Chigwedere tried to push for the renaming of schools that have colonial names, but his plans hit a brickwall.