The Bulawayo City Council has said it will hold public hearing on the renaming of some streets in honour of the nation’s heroes and heroines.
This comes after a High Court ruling barring the Local Government ministry from renaming some city streets after President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Local Government Minister July Moyo had issued Statutory Instrument (SI) 167 of 2020 which proposed to rename some streets in Bulawayo, Bindura, Chipinge, Cheguru, Gweru , Harare, Kwekwe, and Mutare after Mnangagwa and other personalities.
The renaming of streets was challenged by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) stating that Moyo had violated the Names (Alteration) Act and Urban Councils Act which stipulated consultations with residents and other stakeholders must precede renaming of streets.
Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni said the council would engage residents on renaming streets in the spirit of devolution. He said:
“You will notice that our avenues are grid-referenced and this is unique to Bulawayo for ease of reference.
We had, as council, resolved not to tamper with that. Going forward and in view of the court order obtained by residents, we will work together with government to identify areas of convergence and put the residents of Bulawayo on board through consultations in the spirit of devolution.”
Mguni said before the court ruling, Bulawayo had submitted a list of streets that it proposed to rename after the country’s heroes including Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, General Lookout Masuku, Alfred Nikita Mangena, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Last year, the central government and local authorities clashed over the renaming of roads with the latter arguing that they are entitled to do so since they are the ones responsible for its maintenance.