BULAWAYO residents have expressed disappointment over the neglect of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s statue which has been plunged into darkness barely eight months after it was officially unveiled.
The statue, in the middle of the intersection of Joshua Nkomo Street and 8th Avenue in the city centre, had good lights when it was unveiled and was a night attraction, but now literally resembles a ghost.
Residents accused the city fathers of neglecting the statue of the revered nationalist.
Mbuso Ndlovu said it showed that the local authority did not take the city’s history seriously.
“Our leaders should take us seriously. As a city we were honoured with the statue of Umdala Wethu, a revered statesman, but council is failing to provide lighting and lining their pockets with hefty salaries,” he said. Mayor Martin Moyo said he was not aware that there was no longer light at the statue.
“I am not aware that the statue of our late vice-president is in darkness because I rarely pass through that place in the evening,” he said.
Moyo said it was an engineering service problem and the department should do routine check-ups of the lighting systems around the city.
“It is an engineering problem. They are the ones in charge of doing routine work to check around the city,” he said.
“I will engage them to go and check the fault with the lighting system on the statue.”
The statue made in North Korea was unveiled by President Robert Mugabe last year and has become a magnet for both local and foreign tourists.
It is one of the many projects meant to honour the legacy of the veteran nationalist. Some the projects included the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport (formerly Bulawayo Airport) and the Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo.