Source: Call to rename Pennefather Ave | The Herald September 13, 2016
Government will soon consider changing the name of the road that stretches from Zanu-PF Headquarters to Rainbow Towers Hotel from Pennefather Avenue and name it after one of the country’s national heroes, Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, has said. The road is named after Lieutenant Colonel Pennefather, who led the Pioneer Column to invade Zimbabwe.
Yesterday marked 126 years after Lt Col Pennefather led the Pioneer Column into Zimbabwe. Dr Chombo said although he does not chair the committee responsible for changing road names, he would push for that. “While I do not chair committees that change names, I can influence that it can be done and we change the name and gazette it,” he said.
“It is one of the Vice Presidents who chairs that committee. It passes through us (Zanu-PF headquarters). It is just a short road — about 300 metres. We can get a hero to be named after that road and not a white man.”
While Dr Chombo cooperated over the matter, Local Government, National Housing and Public Works Minister Saviour Kasukuwere last night seethed with anger over the issue. Asked over the matter in a telephone interview, Minister Kasukuwere initially slammed his phone after realising that the call was coming from The Herald.
Moments later he called back and said: “What is it that you want? Why can’t you concentrate on writing your s*** there? Is that an issue that you can ask me? If we change that name, whose name do you want us to put on that road?”
He again slammed his phone. It appeared he had taken issue with some of the stories that had been appearing in The Herald and The Sunday Mail recently, where he was implicated in the stands scandal in Harare’s Chishawasha B area.
The story on changing the name of Pennefather Avenue stemmed from repeated calls from the public and historians that the road be named after one of the country’s liberators. The initial column of invaders was made up of 180 colonialists, 200 volunteers and 62 wagons.
Another group soon attached itself to the column adding 110 men, 16 wagons, 130 horses and 250 cattle. They set out from Macloutsie on June 28, 1890 and arrived on September 12 at a flat, marshy meadow protected by steep rocky hills.
The British flag was hoisted over the plain the following day and settlement began. Towns were founded that include Fort Victoria, Fort Charter and Fort Salisbury. The Pioneer corps was then disbanded and each of the members was given land on which they could begin farming.