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Mnangagwa govt headed for clash over renaming of roads in Bulawayo

Mnangagwa govt headed for a clash over renaming of roads in Bulawayo. The ministry, headed by July Moyo, renamed over 80 roads in Harare, Bulawayo, Bindura, Chegutu, Chipinge, Gweru, Kwekwe, Mutare and Masvingo – which all now have a road named after President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The government was on a collision course with the City of Bulawayo on Friday after the Local Government Ministry gazetted new names for some of its roads. The government originally announced plans to rename the roads in February following a Cabinet meeting, but Bulawayo councillors met and drew up their own honours list.

Specifically, the City of Bulawayo rejected plans by the government to rename its Avenues which are currently numbered up to 23rd Avenue. The MDC Alliance-led council resolved to stick to the numbered format for Avenues in the CBD from 1st to 15th Avenue.

Moyo, speaking in March, insisted that the local authority had no power to rename its own streets and could only make recommendations to the government.

In Friday’s Government Gazette, 6th Avenue was renamed Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Way, 9th Avenue changed to Simon Muzenda Avenue, 8th Avenue changed to Liberation Legacy Avenue, 12th Avenue was changed to Joseph Msika Avenue, 4th Avenue became John Landa Avenue, 5th Avenue now becomes Maria Msika Avenue, 1st Avenue changes to Lazarus Nkala Avenue, 10th Avenue is to be known as Nikita Mangena Avenue, 3rd Avenue now carries the name of Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu Avenue and 11th Avenue changes to Daniel Madzimbamuto Avenue.

Bulawayo councillors do not accept that they have no power to name roads within the city, or that this is the preserve of the local government ministry.

In a motion introduced by ward 17 councillor Sikhululekile Moyo, and adopted by the full council, the councillors said “a local authority has the right to govern, on its own initiative, the local affairs of people within the area for which it has been established, and has all the powers necessary to do so.”

“For sequencing and chronological arrangement of roads and streets within the jurisdiction of the City of Bulawayo local authority area, it is imperative to preserve the numbering of Avenues from 1st to 15th Avenue as a unique historical feature of Bulawayo’s road network in the Central Business District,” the councillors also resolved.

In their own roads renaming plan, the councillors had said the road to be named after Mnangagwa was George Avenue which goes from Harare Road to Old Esigodini Road past King George VI Children’s Centre.

They also announced honours for Nikita Mangena, Lookout Masuku, Sydney Malunga, Dumiso Dabengwa, John Landa Nkomo, King Mzilikazi, Jairos Jiri, Sir Garfield Todd, and Joseph Msika among others.

The government appeared to have adopted some of the council’s resolutions, but the roads to be renamed are not the same that had been earmarked by the local authority. For instance, the council wanted Nketa Drive to be renamed Queen Lozikheyi Dlodlo Drive. The government, instead, is renaming Fife Street after one of King Lobengula’s wives. In the council plan, Fife Street was to be renamed Nikita Mangena Street.

City of Bulawayo public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said she had “no comment” when asked for the local authority’s reaction to the Government Gazette. Vice President Kembo Mohadi reportedly chaired the government committee which came up with the new names.

In Harare, a road leading up to the new parliament building starting at Westgate Circle has been named Chairman Mao Boulevard. The new parliament was built by the Chinese government, and the road name appears to be a permanent acknowledgement of the gift.

What Bulawayo Councillors Want

George Avenue (from Harare Road to Old Esigodini Road) to Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Avenue. Leopold Takawira Avenue (from Samuel Parirenyatwa Street to Umguza River Bridge along Gwanda Road) to King Mzilikazi Road

Fife Street to Nikita Mangena Street

Fort Street to Lookout Masuku Street

Old Khami Road to Sydney Malunga Road

Basch Street to Dumiso Dabengwa Road

Nketa Drive to Queen Lozikheyi Dlodlo Drive

Athlone Avenue to Simon Vengai Muzenda Road

23rd Avenue to Landa John Nkomo Road

Lady Stanley Avenue to Mama Joanna Mafuyana Avenue

Steeldale Road and Anthony Tylor Road to Albert Nxele Road

Dundee Drive to Sikhanyiso Duke Ndlovu Drive

Waverley Road to Jairos Jiri Road

Fairbridge Road to Erick Bloch Way

Hillside Road to Sir Garfield Todd Road

Van Riebeck Road to Joseph Msika Drive

Connaught Avenue to Cephas Cele Avenue

Collenbrander Road to Daniel Madzimbamuto Road

Manchester Road to George Nyandoro Road

Vera Road to Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu Road

Birkenhead Road to Sikanjaya Muntanga Road

Doncaster Road to Maria Msika Road

Landmark Name Changes

Pelandaba Clinic is to be renamed Thenjiwe Lesabe Clinic

Stanley Hall in Makokoba has been renamed Liberation Legacy Square


Lobengula Street corrected to King Lobengula Street

Moffat Road corrected to Robert Moffat Drive

Leander Road corrected to Dr Leander Star Jameson

Coghlan Avenue corrected to Charles Patrick Coghlan Avenue

Cecil Avenue corrected to Cecil John Rhodes Avenue

Source – Bulawayo24

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