By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE Zanu PF led government has announced plans to launch Heritage Tourism Trails in late Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s honour of for the liberation icon.
The move could be construed as an attempt to counter MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s recent pledge to preserve Nkomo’s legacy.
Addressing Alliance supporters in Bulawayo recently, Chamisa ordered the MDC-T dominated Bulawayo City Council to exempt the late father Zimbabwe’s Pelandaba’s house and a museum built in his honour from paying monthly rates.
Only recently, Chamisa promised to build a shopping mall in honour of the late decorated nationalist.
But the government on Saturday launched the Heritage Tourism Trails which it says is meant to capture the rich narrative and preserve legacy of the late vice president.
Speaking at the launch of the tourism trail at Nkomo’s museum in the city, Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan province, Angeline Masuku accused the previous government of President Robert Mugabe of ignoring Nkomo’s historic works.
“It is sad that Nkomo could not be honoured under the old government. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) had intended to do that but could not initiate such programmes but now we thank the new dispensation for taking such a great step,” Masuku said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Tourism Minister Priscilla Mupfumira, said government was committed to honouring Nkomo.
“The government is committed that the honouring of Father Zimbabwe should go beyond Centenary Commemorations. His legacy must be captured in powerful narratives to make sure that his heritage is preserved and benefits future generations,” she said.
Mupfumira said the government will very soon launch Cultural Creative Zones throughout Zimbabwe that will form the basis for the tourist trails.
“These cultural creative zones will be launched a day before Hlanganani/Sangani 2018 in September,” said the minister.
Historian Phathisa Nyathi said it was time Nkomo was accorded the respect he rightfully deserved.
Nkomo passed away in 1999 after a long battle with prostate cancer.