By ZBC Reporter
VARIOUS stakeholders including the tourism industry have welcomed the government’s decision to erect a memorial statue of Zimbabwe’s first Chimurenga heroine, Mbuya Nehanda.
They say the move will not only preserve the country’s history but also reposition Harare as a tourism hub.
From the statues of David Livingstone and Alfred Beit to that of Umdala Wethu, Father Zimbabwe Joshua Nkomo and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier- iconic landmarks have for centuries told stories of colonialism, struggle for independence and protecting the gains of independence.
According to the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe Executive Director, Dr. Godfrey Mahachi such iconic symbols preserve history while also enabling present and future generations to consolidate gains of independence.
“It is being constructed at the right time when we will soon be commemorating the heroes’ day and its significance is all about preserving the history of the country,” he said.
The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Senator Monica Mutsvangwa this Tuesday said the government had unveiled a 3-d concept design for Mbuya Nehanda monument paving way for full-scale construction works in Harare.
“Government has approved the erection statue of the iconic and gallant heroine of the 1st chimurenga Mbuya Nehanda,” said the Information Minister in Tuesday’s Cabinet briefing.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), spokesperson, Godfrey Koti says the tourism industry also stands to benefit from the statue.
“There are many advantages that are likely to accrue from such developments so by and large we are really optimistic of the entire project,” said Koti.
Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme spoke on the impact of the statue in the city’s development roadmap.
“Any projects within the city has its own merits to the extent that we remain hopeful about its impact in terms of attracting businesses,” noted Chideme.
The erection of the monument ahead of this year’s Heroes’ Day commemorations is the government’s way of honouring Mbuya Nehanda for her heroic stance against colonialism in spearheading the first Chimurenga in 1896.
“Befittingly the monument will be located at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way. Work has already started and is being implemented by an inter-agency team which is supervised by Honourable Vice President Chiwenga. The Agencies are drawn from the Ministries of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Local Government and Public Works; and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. Civil works and fabrication are already in progress, while the statue is already being moulded by a Zimbabwean artist. Construction is expected to be completed within two months,” said Senator Mutsvangwa.