A proposal to rename Barbourfields Stadium after revered liberation war hero Lookout Masuku has cost a Bulawayo councillor his post, it has been learnt.
By KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
Bulawayo Ward 1 councillor, Mlandu Ncube, at the weekend claimed that his proposal to have the ground named after the late Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) commander, Masuku, led to his removal as the local authority’s finance committee chairperson.
Ncube, two weeks’ ago, ignited debate in council chambers after he moved a motion that the giant stadium be renamed to honour one of the region’s greatest war heroes.
He told a service organised by the pressure group, Ibhetshu Likazulu to honour victims of the Gukurahundi atrocities that his proposal had been received with scorn.
“We know what our problem is in Matabeleland, and we know it very well. I have a problem with the colonial names all around this city,” he said.
“One of them cost me the position of the chairperson of the Bulawayo finance committee. I said it clearly that we have to remove the name of Barbour [in the name Barbourfields Stadium] and we replace it with one of our heroes. The thinking was that I am now feeling more powerful in that position and I will end up abusing the local authority’s funds. I was removed.”
Ncube said it was important for the people of Matabeleland to have “a position” on issues that affect them.
“We must have a position on a lot of issues that affect us. Today, no one in this region speaks about Sydney Malunga, no one speaks about Njini Ntutha.
“We have forgotten them. Today [Moses] Mzila Ndlovu, you speak so well for us and our issues; what guarantee do you have that we will remember you when you are dead?” he queried.
Contributing to the same discussion, Mthwakazi Republic Party president, Mqondisi Moyo, said: “Matabeleland had a political problem that required a political solution.
“Why do we want to talk of Matabeleland as a region when it is a country?”
The leader of the Alliance for National Salvation, Ndlovu weighed in: “One of the wishes of the people, who committed the Gukurahundi genocide, is that the aggrieved generation will die.
“But they are hoping against hope because the younger generation is more aggrieved. When we talk about the victims of Gukurahundi, people without birth certificates; we must remember that there are some people living with bullets in their bodies, and people living with poisonous gases in their bodies that they are passing on to their children at birth,” the former National Healing minister said.