BULAWAYO residents and opposition political parties have criticised government’s move to rename several roads in the city, leaving out some of the city’s luminaries.

Government on Thursday announced a raft of new names being given to several roads and buildings in Bulawayo, Harare and other towns, with 10 roads named after President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Residents and political parties said the government usurped the role of local authorities to name roads and never consulted the responsible authorities before taking the action.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said the move taken by government was deplorable.

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“I am not sure of what is happening anymore, the local authorities are responsible for the naming of the roads, not the government,” he said.

“We have our own people whom we think are befitting for those road names, not just anyone. We currently have issues of poverty, starvation, striking doctors and nurses, people are dying in hospitals, but in their (government) response they rename the

MDC Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza said instead of renaming the roads, the government should be fixing the roads as they are badly potholed.

“We have other heroes such a Dumiso Dabengwa, who belonged to the Zipra, who were sidelined in the renaming,” he said.

“This was not a popular move by the government. It is not addressing the current economic crisis at all and instead of naming the roads, they should be fixing the roads.”

Mayor Solomon Mguni said he was waiting for the official communication from the government so that they can give an official report as the city fathers.

Mthwakazi Republic Party member Mbonisi Gumbo said: “Some of us have bad memories of ED Mnangagwa.

Having a busy road named Mnangagwa is obviously traumatic. However, we expect the ordinary residents of Bulawayo to be consulted.

“We have our own heroes like Lookout Masuku, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, Mqondisi Moyo and others, so we do not appreciate anything imposed on us.”

Cabinet on Thursday said it had approved the renaming of roads and government buildings in Harare,
Bulawayo and other towns across the country, as a way of trying to foster unity, while reflecting on the country’s history and identity.