BULAWAYO – Bulawayo-based pressure group Ibhetshu Likazulu, has condemned the removal of posters renaming Main Street as Joshua Nkomo street as the work of political malcontents.
Members of the Matojeni Cultural Society on July 1 renamed one of Bulawayo’s busiest roads Main Street after the late veteran nationalist to commemorate his death and his legacy.
As the group paraded along the street before official celebrations at Stanley Square on the same day, they put posters inscribed Joshua Nkomo Street in bold along the way.
Huge posters could be seen from all sides pasted on the unfinished plinth supposed to host Nkomo’s controversial statue situated at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Main Street.
As fate would have it, just a day after the posters were plastered along the street, most of them were by yesterday removed or defaced by suspected Zanu PF sympathisers.
But, Ibhetshu Likazulu on Thursday described the move as nonsensical and a clear work of operatives from the President’s office.
“As you may be aware everything starts and ends with Zanu PF,” Mbuso Fuzwayo the organisation’s spokesperson said.
“They have been calling for the renaming of the streets but all the same they through the ministry of Home Affairs have failed.”
He strongly believed that party supporters through the President’s office had ensured these posters are completely removed or defaced.
“To be honest the move by the people to rename the street on their own is really great but it is clear such a community effort embarrassed Zanu PF especially this time when they want to capitalise on his name ahead of elections,” Fuzwayo explained.
“I believe that since Zanu PF claims to be the people’s party they should allow public statements as reflected in citizen taking the lead in re-Christening Main Street the way they did.”
With all fingers pointing at Zanu PF, the controversy comes at a time when the ex-majority party is conducting workshops in honour of the late veteran nationalist’s legacy in the city.
Meanwhile, the MDC led by Welshman Ncube Thursday issued a statement condemning the delay in renaming the street after the former vice president.
“It is very unfortunate that the mainstream MDC council and the Bulawayo metropolitan governor’s office failed to implement the council resolution to change Main Street to Joshua Nkomo,” said Edwin Ndlovu, the party’s Bulawayo provincial spokesperson.
“It proves the insensibility and cruelty of these people. Therefore the people who stuck poster and sign posts on Main Street on Monday are justified. I wonder what is stopping them from renaming the street,” he said.
Ndlovu lashed out at Zanu PF whom he said must stop pretending as if they love Nkomo when in actual fact are his worst enemies. He said Zanu PF must not remember Father Zimbabwe only when its election time.