Zimbabwe: Streets, Buildings Renaming Sparks Uproar

22 November 2019

Zimbabweans have expressed displeasure over government decision to rename streets and various government buildings describing the exercise as unnecessary given a massive task that lies in rebuilding the country's infrastructure.

Yesterday Cabinet approved the renaming of these various infrastructures citing the move will preserve the country's historical legacy.

"Cabinet noted that through the process of naming, every community or society defines its identity and culture, tells its history, and espouses its values, beliefs, norms and world-view," Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mangaliso Ndlovu told reporters yesterday.

Among notable streets and buildings whose names would be changed in Harare are as follows, Enterprise road renamed Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa road, Speke Avenue to Agostinho Neto Avenue, Angwa Street to Sir Seretse Khama Street, Rezende Street becomes Julia Zvobgo Street while Selous Avenue renamed to John Landa Nkomo Avenue.

CID Headquarters Building in Harare has also been renamed Ethan Dube Building.

While in Bulawayo, Fort Street has been named after Benjamin Burombo, 6th Street named after President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

263Chat spoke to several people in Harare this morning to share their thoughts on the latest development.

"What's the point in renaming streets which are in bad shape? There are potholes everywhere and all they think about is renaming the streets," Loveness Karombe said.

Another pedestrian who refused to be known weighed in, "Are there not far better issues to concentrate on rather than rename streets. We don't have fuel, no electricity and no cash for us to survive yet those we look up to for answers are busy giving names for streets and buildings,"

But some aired frustration over the continuous credit of the same people aligned to the ruling Zanu PF party particularly at a time there are growing calls to honour regional icons in their respective areas.

Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), a key movement in the liberation of the country from colonial rule recently handed a request to Bulawayo City Council to honour one of the country's liberation icon from that region, Dumiso Dabengwa but their request has been overlooked, instead opting to honour nationalists from other regions.

"Let us not forget that every region had people who sacrificed their lives one way or the other and they should be honoured in their respective arrears. However, what we see from this Zanu PF government is that they have opted to give one person more than eight roads and this in not reflective of our history in anyway," Zapu spokesperson Mjobisa Noko said.

However, a few people welcomed the decision as progressive.

"We need to have our roads reflective of figures we identify. We don't know who Kirkman was, neither do we know who Speke was. We need to honour those who sacrificed their lives for us," said Manuel Tomo, a vendor in Harare CBD.

Many have castigated the renaming of streets to be solely identified with political icons while several deserving Zimbabweans in various disciplines of sport, education, philanthropy, arts and literature among others are never honoured.

This is the second round of renaming of public infrastructure since President Emmerson Mnangagwa got into power with the initial phase targeting army barracks in December 2017.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: 263Chat

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.