Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa sparked outrage on Friday November 22, after stripping dozens of streets of their colonial identities and then renaming some of them after himself.
Though the Zimbabwean Cabinet Committee on Place Names said renaming streets was both a reflection of the country’s values and “a social engagement tool that fosters understanding, peace and university in diversity”, while some stakeholders in the country alleged that renaming some streets after Mnangagwa was a forced move to immortalise the President.
It is unclear if the committee is planning bigger name posts or smaller letters to accommodate the changes but it was gathered that Hughes Street in Mazvingo will now become Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Street, while Etherton Road in Bindura becomes Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa Road.
Arthur Mutambara, a former deputy prime minister who spoke to TimesLIVE said the decision to rename the roads is a mere cover for Mnangagwa’s ambition.
“An incompetent Mnangagwa wants to immortalise himself. All the other name changes are to cover up this wicked ambition. Whether he falls or prevails, he wants immortality,” he said.
“Zimbabweans will be calling his name in eight cities every day, forever. That is the ‘big idea’ while the country degenerates into unprecedented political and economic mayhem.”
Tendai Biti, vice president of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was equally scathing, tweeting:
“The public hospital system has collapsed. Citizens are dying like flies. The power blackouts are now permanent. Hyperinflation has spiralled out of control. But they sat and named roads after themselves.”