Mnangagwa’s Cabinet okays erection of Mugabe statue to appease G40 remnants 

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By Staff Reporter

CABINET has hastily approved the setting up of a statue in honour of late former president Robert Mugabe.

Faced with the spectre of losing votes ahead of crunch 2023 harmonised elections, Mnangagwa moved to appease loyalists of the late ex-president, who coalesced under the banner of ‘Generation 40’, a faction bitterly opposed to him succeeding Mugabe.

The same honour has also been accorded late former Vice President Joshua Nkomo, whose statue will be erected in Harare. He already has another hoisted in Bulawayo city centre.

Addressing journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare Tuesday, Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet adopted the report on nominations for 2023 honours and awards presented by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, as Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Honours and Awards.

The committee recommended that Mugabe and Nkomo be further recognised for their liberation war efforts by erecting statues in their honour.

“The nation is further advised that in recognition of the roles played by Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Dr. Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, who selflessly dedicated their lives for the liberation of Zimbabwe, Cabinet approved the erection of statues in Harare.

“The Statue of Cde. R.G. Mugabe will be erected at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, while the second Dr. J.M.N. Nkomo statue will be erected at the trumpet interchange at the intersection of Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo and Glenara Roads,” said Mutsvangwa.

Mugabe’s family denied Mnangagwa’s government his remains for interment at the National Heroes Acre, an embarrassing episode that later played out in courts as traditional chiefs tried to arm-twist the family to surrender his body for burial in Harare.

The strongman was laid to rest in his rural village of Kutama, three weeks after he died in Singapore. This followed wrangling between his family and government over his final resting place.

Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on September 6, 2019, nearly two years after a coup ended his 37 years in power.

Now, in the impending 2023 harmonised elections one of Mugabe loyalists and former Cabinet minister, Saviour ‘Tyson’ Kasukuwere has thrown his hat in the ring challenging Mnangagwa for the presidency. His nomination was however nullified by the High Court.

The curious move to bestow honour on Mugabe, whom Mnangagwa and company so embarrassed by forcing him to resign, smacks of insincerity, and is only meant to charm those who would ordinarily cast ballots in Kasukuwere’s favour.

Meanwhile, the government also intends to immortalise the life of the late first black physician, Dr Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa.

“In honour of the late nationalist and first black medical doctor and physician and first Vice President of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU), the late Dr. Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa, a statue will be erected at an appropriate entrance to the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

“Heany Junction, the place where his body was dumped having been killed at Shangani, will also be renamed after him and a granite pedestal erected to signify and memorialise the site.”

The minister noted government recognises the important role played by war veterans in the liberation and development of the country.

“As the nation may recall, the Second Republic has since 2021 consistently honoured the nations sons and daughters of the soil and other deserving persons who have been found befitting of recognition.

“Bestowing honours and awards encourages individuals to strive to excel in serving the nation, and defending the country. The underlying ethos behind the Honours and Awards is to create an increasing pool of inspirational role models for the wider citizenry.”

Cabinet also resolved to honour Dr. Sikhulile Moyo, the Angel of Hope Foundation, Ambassador Mary Mubi and Dr. Agnes Mahomva.

Dr. Sikhulile Moyo will be bestowed with the Order of the Great Zimbabwe Award in Silver, the second highest after the ceremonial Grand Master of the Legion of Merit and is conferred on Zimbabweans for supreme sacrifice in the development and survival of the nation.

Dr. Moyo is being considered for recognition for identifying the Omnicron variant of the COVID-19 Virus in November 2021 while he was stationed at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Laboratory.

He has received other accolades for his distinguished work, and it is befitting that Zimbabwe honours him among its illustrious sons, who have stood up to be counted among the world’s best.

The Angel of Hope Foundation will be conferred with the Jairos Jiri Humanitarian Award in Gold, in recognition of its dedication to the betterment of humanity through rendering humanitarian service.

The foundation is a vehicle that Auxillia Mnangagwa, the First Lady, uses to carry out her social responsibility work.

The foundation is leading communities in fighting drug and substance abuse, child marriages and teen pregnancies, moral decay, and is championing cultural revitalisation and environmental protection.

Ambassador Mubi and Dr. Mahomva will be conferred with the Order of the Star of Zimbabwe Award in Silver.

Ambassador Mubi led the showcasing of Zimbabwe to the world in two world expos, the Milan World Expo 2015 in Italy as Deputy Commissioner-General and the 2020 Expo Dubai of 2021 to 2022 as Commissioner-General.

Dr. Agnes Mahomva exceptionally coordinated Zimbabwe’s response to the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic.

Her coordination meant that Zimbabwe was always on top of the pandemic, leading to the global recognition of Zimbabwe’s exceptional response, which saved innumerable lives.