BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZAPU has resolved to besiege Bulawayo council offices to push city fathers to name one of the city’s streets after their late leader and national hero Dumiso Dabengwa.
Zapu in June wrote to the MDC-led council requesting that the local authority names Fife Street in the central business district after the late liberation icon who passed on in May this year.
Dabengwa passed away in Nairobi, Kenya, on his way from India where he had gone for medical treatment for a liver ailment. He was 79.
Zapu secretary-general Strike Mnkandla told Southern Eye that the opposition party has been left with no choice, but to besiege council offices as the city fathers have remained mum on their request.
“We are still waiting. There has been no communication to that effect,” Mnkandla said in a telephone interview.
“What we have resolved now is to visit their offices to get their response. As it is, we do not know if the request is being considered or was thrown away. We have not set a date for the visit as we have also been preoccupied with planning for our people’s council meeting … but yes, we will be engaging council.”
Dabengwa was declared a national hero, but was laid to rest at his eManxeleni rural home in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North province. The family said he had insisted on having his remains interred at a family graveyard in Ntabazinduna as opposed to the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni said Zapu’s request was still under consideration.
“It is still under consideration. It has to be circulated to all departments, management to seek their opinions before it is brought to council,” Mguni said yesterday.
A few years ago, BCC renamed Main Street in honour of the late Vice-President and Zapu founder, Joshua Nkomo. Government also recognised Nkomo’s contributions by naming the Bulawayo International Airport after him and by mounting a statue in the city centre. A number of Bulawayo streets are named after the country’s liberation war heroes such as Herbert Chitepo, Leopold Takawira, Jason Moyo and Josiah Tongogara.