Zimbabwe: Govt Challenges Court Decision Barring Naming Streets After ED

Government says it will appeal last week’s High Court judgment which ordered it to stop renaming Bulawayo streets after President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other prominent figures.

Last year, the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) through their lawyer Job Sibanda and Associates challenged the government’s decision to change some of the city’s street names after Local Government Minister July Moyo had gazetted the renaming of some major roads cities and towns.

In his founding affidavit, BPRA chairperson Ambrose Sibindi argued the changes were a nullity as they violated the Urban Councils Act.

“The first respondent (Minister Moyo’s) attempt to alter the names of the concerned streets runs afoul the very law that allows to alter such names,” Sibindi said in his application.

“He did not consider the provisions of section 4 (2) of the enabling Act before coming up with a raft of names that he sought to impose on second respondent and the residents of Bulawayo,” said Sibindi in the application.

However, in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Wednesday, Moyo said the government was planning to challenge the High Court’s decision at the Supreme Court.

“There is an Act of Parliament which allows government to change (names) and when we did that we wrote to the city council and consulted all the city councils and municipalities. So all the processes have been done but we are going to challenge,” the minister said.

In its court application, BPRA argued the name changes were a nullity since they violated some provisions of the Urban Councils Act.

According to the outlawed government’s statutory instrument (SI), Sixth Avenue Extension was to be renamed Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Other major roads that had been renamed include; 12th Avenue renamed Joseph Msika Avenue, Colenbrander Road – Lookout Masuku Avenue, 9th Avenue – Simon Vengai Muzenda Avenue and 4th Avenue through to 7th Street up to King George – John Landa Nkomo Road.

In February last year, the Bulawayo City Council renamed some of the city’s major streets and buildings in a move the local authority said was meant to preserve pre-colonial and post -colonial history and heritage of the city.

However, the government blocked the council’s move claiming that only the Local Government Minister had the powers to change names.

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