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'Govt neglecting Nkomo heritage sites'

by Staff reporter
01 Mar 2019 at 18:16hrs | Views
Government has been accused of neglecting houses belonging to the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo despite promises to upgrade the properties to tourist attraction centres.

Nkomo's son, Sibangilizwe, told Southern Eye last week that the government was dragging its feet in turning the two houses in Matsheumhlope and Pelandaba suburbs into museums

''We were approached by the Zimbabwe Tourism authority (ZTA) during the Sanganani/Hlanganani Tourism Expo last year and they showed interest in incorporating the Joshua Nkomo heritage trails. ZTA was supposed to do this in conjunction with the Joshua Nkomo Foundation. The purpose of the trails is to trace Nkomo's footsteps in Zimbabwe. They asked us to give them a bill of quantities, which we did but they only sponsored the mural outside the house,'' Sibangilizwe said.

He said the Matsheumhlope house was to be officially turned into a museum and monument, but no papers have so far been signed between the government and the family to that effect.

He said the family had sent a memorandum of understanding to government in September last year in connection with the Phelandaba house, but there had not been any response to date.

"This house was called the 'state house' during the liberation war. It has a rich history, traditional cultural festivals and rituals are held here. I am now the caretaker, but the government does not care about my welfare as the caretaker of the house,'' Sibangilizwe said.

However, ZTA spokesperson Godfrey Koti, said they were currently engaged in discussions with many organisations, including the Joshua Nkomo Trust for progress on the projects.

"We are still in talks; we are still to finalise the memorandum of understanding. We also met them during the Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Expo last year and we are making good progress. We do not want to do something that is not sustainable,'' Koti said.

Source - newsday