Work starts on statue again

The government has resumed construction of the statue of late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, which has been mired in controversy since its inception.

Workers constructing Nkomo’s statue on Tuesday.
Workers constructing Nkomo’s statue on Tuesday.

A Harare-based contractor abandoned the project on Main Street more than two years ago after the Ministry of Home Affairs failed to pay. When The Zimbabwean news crew visited the site on Tuesday, workers were busy constructing the mounting pedal. Home Affairs Ministry officials at the site threatened to take unspecified action against this reporter for taking photos.

“You cannot take photos here.This is a security area,” shouted one of the officials. The statue was pulled down in September 2010 after the Nkomo family protested that it did not capture the true attributes of the late Vice President and that they had not been involved in the project. Government then engaged the family through the Joshua Nkomo Foundation and construction resumed in July 2011.

Kembo Mohadi, the then co-minister of Home Affairs, announced that the project would be completed before Heroes Day that year. Civic society groups protested at the erection of the statue, after it emerged that it had been built by North Koreans. That country trained members of 5 Brigade who are accused of killing more than 20,000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands during the Gukurahundi era.

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