Nehanda statue: Chamisa blasts govt over poor priorities

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has criticised a government move to erect a memorial statue for First Chimurenga heroine, Ambuya Nehanda when the country should be putting priorities towards building infrastructure.

He was speaking in his e-rally organised by the party on Sunday.

“I heard this government wants to build the statue of the late heroine of the First Chirimurenga, Ambuya Nehanda,” Chamisa said.

“It shows that people are wired wrongly. This is inappropriate to build the statue.

“You are telling us that you want to commit state resources to build a statue instead of putting money and effort into building buildings and infrastructure.

“But you are thinking of building a statue, that’s wrong priorities!”

Chamisa added: “Our (MDC) government will honour heroes but will not worship any human beings. We will not worship the dead.

“We will honour all our national heroes and that honour will bestowed to those deserving.

“Under our government, heroes will not be selected by a political party but by an independent and impartial body.

“All national heroes from all sectors will be honoured.

“We cannot have a heroes acre of politicians, especially some of the politicians with questionable credentials.”

Last week, government reported that work on the Mbuya Nehanda memorial statue had started at the corner of Julius Nyerere Way and Samora Machel Avenue in Harare.

Nehanda was hanged on 27 April 1902.

The Office of the President and Cabinet, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ministry, department of Public Works, National Archives of Zimbabwe and National Museums and Monuments are running the project.

The long gone but revered spirit medium was among pioneers of resistance against British colonialism in the 19th century.

She and Sekuru Kaguvi were eventually captured and executed by the British.

The legacy of the medium continued to be linked to the theme of resistance, particularly the guerrilla war.