Chances of meeting the deadline to have the statue of the late Vice- President Joshua Nkomo erected in Bulawayo by Heroes Day on Monday are remote, officials have said.
Bulawayo mayor Councillor Thaba Moyo told NewsDay recently that the statue was expected to have been mounted by Heroes Day.
By yesterday afternoon there was still no sign of the statue or indications that preparations were being done for its erection.
A platform on which the statue will stand is still under construction at the intersection of Main Street and Eighth Avenue in Bulawayo’s city centre where Cecil John Rhodes’ statue once stood.
Moyo said yesterday it was not likely that the statue would be ready for unveiling on Monday when the nation honours its heroes.
“Work is still continuing on the site but as for its readiness by Monday, you can forget about that,’’ he said. “Sometime after Heroes Day, possibly.”
He said Bulawayo City Council was not responsible for the project.
“It’s a central government project,” Moyo said. “The Department of National Museums and Monuments led by Dr (Godfrey) Mahachi is looking into it and other government departments. Talk to Dr Mahachi, ”Moyo said.”
Contacted for comment, Mahachi also expressed doubts about the statue being mounted by Heroes Day.
“It depends on the work on the ground,” Mahachi said. “That is the setting-up of the platform. I doubt if it (the pedestal) will be ready by Monday, but then our aim is to have it standing during the Heroes month. We are working on ensuring readiness to have the statue mounted.’’
Mahachi said the statue was still in Harare.
Government resolved in 2001 to have two statues erected in honour of Nkomo, one of the founding fathers of Zimbabwe.
One of the statues would be erected in Harare while the second one would be in Bulawayo.