Lumbidzani Dima, Chronicle Reporter
Bulawayo City Council is continuing with its initial plan to rename a street after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta despite him no longer coming to officially open this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) on Friday.
President Kenyatta was expected to officially open the 62nd edition of the ZITF which will be held from today to Saturday under the theme, “Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent Value Chains for Economic Development.
His failure to attend the ZITF follows the death of his country’s former president, Mwai Kibaki.
Kibaki died last Thursday aged 90 and President Kenyatta declared a mourning period until his burial, with flags flying at half-mast.
The former Kenyan leader will be given a state funeral with full military honours, the Kenyan government said while officially announcing his death.
The renaming of the road is in line with a request made by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo in terms of the Names (Alteration) Act.
In an interview, Bulawayo mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni said the local authority will still rename a road in honour of President Kenyatta.
“We have done our formalities after receiving the request from central government. This included identification of the road for renaming. We are aware that President Kenyatta is no longer coming to Zimbabwe due to the death of former President Kibaki, but the honour still remains,” he said.
The mayor said they have chosen to rename 3rd Street after President Kenyatta.
“3rd Street which starts from Park Road to the intersection of Ascot Way and Esigodini Road and also a portion of Esigodini Road stretching from 3rd Street up to the intersection of Cecil Avenue and Esigodini Road,” said Cllr Mguni.
When the council was proposing roads to be renamed after Kenyan president, Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mlandu Ncube said it was best to rename a road close to the ZITF grounds after the Kenyan leader.
“It would be pointless to select a road that is not within the vicinity of the ZITF grounds,” said Clr Ncube.