GOVERNMENT is yet to respond to a request by the family of the late Vice-President and national hero, Simon Vengesai Muzenda to have his statue erected in Masvingo City, the family has said.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
Muzenda, dubbed “The Soul of The Nation”, died on September 20, 2003 at the age of 80. He was declared a national hero and buried at the National Heroes’ Acre.
He hailed from Zvavahera in Gutu district, Masvingo province.
His late widow, Maud, in 2016 requested that government erects a statue of the former VP in Masvingo province to preserve his legacy.
Maud died on August 22, 2017 before that request was honoured.
“We are only left with funding, it has been approved by the family. We don’t need government approval to create the statue, but where to put it, we will need to consult with government, we would like it in Masvingo, but we will fund the creation of the statue. We have already identified sculptors to make it. After it is done, then we will consult with government on where to put it,” said Vitalis, the third child and eldest son of the late VP.
In 2016, Friends of Joshua Nkomo Trust refurbished Muzenda’s two eight-decades old grass-thatched huts in Mucheke suburb into a national heritage site and cultural centre.
The city council has also protected the grass-thatched huts.
Apart from Nkomo’s statue, which was erected and installed in Bulawayo, former President Robert Mugabe has had his own statue erected while he is still alive.
National Museums and Monuments executive director Godfrey Mahachi said he was aware of the request, but said his department only implements government decisions.
“I read about the issues, but we only implement if the decision has been made by government and deliberated on,” he said.
In her last interview with NewsDay in September 2016, Maud said the government should honour her late husband like they did the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo.
“I appreciate all that is being done to keep my late hubby’s legacy alive. It is a good job that everyone is remembering my husband. My wish, however, is to have a statue of my husband erected in Masvingo city, just like in Bulawayo, where the late VP Nkomo’s statue is erected,” she said then.