BULAWAYO mayor Thaba Moyo yesterday ducked debate on the issue of according the late Vice-President John Nkomo freedom of the city by accusing NewsDay of trying “to put people on a collision course”.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Bulawayo unceremoniously postponed an event to honour Nkomo in 2010 after MDC-T leaders from Matabeleland expressed reservations.
The VP died last month before a decision could be made and the mayor promised to shed light on the matter after the mourning of Nkomo.
When contacted yesterday over his promise, Moyo said he was not willing to comment on the matter.
“I am sorry I cannot comment on the matter. I did not like how you (NewsDay) reported on the matter last time. I don’t like things that bring disunity,” said Moyo before hanging up his phone.
There is sentiment, however, within councillors that Bulawayo City Council blundered by allowing the party to interfere in council resolutions.
The councillors said a resolution had been made that Nkomo be granted Freedom of the city and it was recorded in the council records.
Moyo was accused of blundering by succumbing to political pressure to cancel the event with councillors saying the move to block the event made it difficult for the local authority to confer any other honour because there was no reasonable explanation why Nkomo was not honoured.
“If elections are held this year, it will mean for the entire existence of this council, not a single person from Bulawayo would have been honoured for exceptional work in the city.
“The question people will ask is whether the council did not see anyone who qualified for either the civic honour or freedom of the city during its term,” said a councillor who requested anonymity.
“The city council is now faced with two scenarios. One of them is giving the award posthumously, which will expose and embarrass them.
The other is leaving it hanging for another regime of councillors to deal with because one thing for certain is that it cannot be struck off council records,” said another councillor.