Zapu asks Bulawayo to honour Dabengwa

 Zapu asks Bulawayo to honour Dabengwa
Published: 25 June 2019
THE opposition Zapu wants Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to honour its late leader and national hero, Dumiso Dabengwa, by naming one of the city's streets after him, the Daily News can report.

Dabengwa died last month aged 79 - after succumbing to a liver-related ailment.

Although the late liberation stalwart was declared a national hero, he was interred at his family's burial place in Ntabazinduna, a few kilometres outside Bulawayo.

Speaking after Zapu's weekend meeting, the party's spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said they had requested BCC to honour the late liberation icon by naming the City of Kings' Fife Street after him.

"Zapu has written a letter requesting the Bulawayo City Council to rename Fife Street in the central business district in honour of Dabengwa.

"This is in recognition of his immense contribution to the liberation, development and stability of the country.

"Dabengwa, who was a resident of Bulawayo, was instrumental during the recent refusal by BCC to hand over its water supply system to Zinwa (the Zimbabwe National Water Authority).

"Bulawayo became the only authority to retain control of its water supplies and maintain quality standards," Maphosa told the Daily News.

During his tenure in government, Dabengwa was instrumental in pushing for the commencement of work on the long-mooted Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which was seen as a solution to ending the perennial water shortages in the region.

However, the project remains a pipedream.

A few years ago, BCC renamed Main Street in honour of the late Father Zimbabwe and-PF Zapu leader, Joshua Nkomo - whose contribution to the country's liberation struggle was also recognised by the government which named the Bulawayo International Airport after him.

On its part, BCC said it would not have problems in granting Zapu its request to have Dabengwa honoured by the city fathers.

"We haven't received the letter yet, but we don't have any problem with such an initiative. It's not the first time this has happened.

"All I can say is that we will deal with the letter when we receive it," ward 1 councillor Mlandu Ncube told the Daily News.

Meanwhile, Zapu has resolved to park the issue of who should succeed Dabengwa, at least until after the party's congress in August next year - with its acting president, Isaac Mabuka, to continue in the role.

"The party also resolved to maintain the rest of the current leadership at all levels.

"The period from now to congress will be used to strengthen structures and welcome people who have shown a keenness to join the party following a display of steadfastness and principles … following the death of our leader," Maphosa said.

Dabengwa died in Kenya last month while on his way back home, following treatment for a liver-related ailment in India.

He told the Daily News in an exclusive interview in 2015 that he would prefer to be buried alongside his relatives in Ntabazinduna because the selection process of who deserved to be buried at the national shrine in Harare had lost credibility.

"I am bitter on the issue of how the heroes' status is now being adjudicated. The granting of hero status was made clear right at the beginning, that it is those people who had performed outstandingly in their contribution to the liberation struggle who would lie there.

"But when you leave out people who contributed so much to the liberation struggle, that boggles the mind," the disconsolate Dabengwa - who usually shied away from the public spotlight, preferring to work quietly behind the scenes - said then.
- dailynews
Tags: Zapu,


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