BY VANESSA GONYE
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to rename Bulawayo city roads in his name has hit a snag after a High Court judge blocked the move.
Last year, Local Government minister July Moyo ordered the Bulawayo City Council to rename some streets in honour of some living and departed liberation war stalwarts.
Bulawayo’s 6th Avenue had been renamed Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Way.
Using Statutory Instrument 167 of 2020, Moyo ordered municipalities in Bulawayo, Harare, Chipinge, Gweru, Masvingo, Bindura, Chegutu, Kwekwe, Mutare to name some of the roads after Mnangagwa, and several other independence stalwarts.
But the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association challenged the directive in court, arguing that they were not consulted as the city’s key stakeholders.
Justice Maxwell Takuva denied the President the honour after agreeing with the residents’ association that it was unlawful for government to impose street names on the local authority without consultations.
“To the extent that Statutory Instrument 167/20 purports to alter and substitute certain names as depicted therein, in Bulawayo the same is null and void and of no legal effect whatsoever for violating section 4(2) of the Alteration of Names Act Chapter 10:14,” Justice Takuva ruled.
Under the rejected directive, government had also changed 9th Avenue to Simon Muzenda Avenue, 8th Avenue to Liberation Legacy Avenue while 12th Avenue was to become Joseph Msika Avenue.
Bulawayo’s 4th Avenue was to be renamed after the late former Vice-President John Landa Nkomo, 5th Avenue to Maria Msika Avenue, 1st Avenue to Lazarus Nkala Avenue, 10th Avenue would be known as Nikita Mangena Avenue, 3rd Avenue as Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu Avenue whereas 11th Avenue would be Daniel Madzimbamuto
Critics denounced the move as a ploy by the ruling Zanu PF party to force Mnangagwa’s legacy on a people who felt disgruntled by his leadership.
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