Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Correspondent
THE new political dispensation seems to have bypassed Bulawayo City Council, with a Government minister yesterday ordering the removal of a portrait of former President Robert Mugabe that was hanging from one of the local authority’s facilities.
Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation Raymond Kazembe was touring the Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre Home Industries section yesterday, where he ordered the removal of the portrait two months after Cde Mugabe’s resignation.
A Chronicle news crew which was part of the tour, observed the drama unfold.
After Minister Kazembe had toured the pottery and arts section of the facility at the centre, he was ushered to the home industry section to see basket weaving by women.
He quickly observed the abnormality and demanded that municipality officials pull down the portrait.
“Thank you for welcoming me. But first let’s deal with that,” said Minister Kazembe pointing to the former President’s portrait on the wall above the door to the first section.
Mortified, BCC officials hastened to heed Minister Kazembe’s demand.
While two officials removed the portrait, there were murmurs by some among the delegation, wondering how such a glaring oversight was possible.
After the boob had been corrected, Minister Kazembe said he was impressed by the weaving techniques by the women at the home industry.
He said he was blown away by the baskets that the women were making in the first floor of the building.
Cde Judith Ncube, a Zanu-PF Central Committee member said some women work from home and send their wares to the centre so that they can sell to others.
The home industries section is a training centre for girls and women where they are trained in handwork skills that include ilala, batik basketry, knitting and weaving.