DOCTOR Grace Mugabe Way and other roads in the city illegally named by Zanu PF in the run up to its congress last December have been pulled down following representations by Harare City Council authorities to the Ministry of Local Government
Zanu PF party had grabbed the open space adjacent to the Rainbow Towers Hotel and Harare Magistrates’ Court and renamed it the Robert Mugabe Square, and named the adjacent roads after the First Family and Zanu PF projects without council approval.
Sources said Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni recently wrote to Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo indicating that the road signs with the new names were erected without council’s approval and should be removed.
When the Zimbabwe Independent visited the area yesterday the sign posts had been removed.
The main road leading into the “square” had been renamed Dr Grace Mugabe Way after the First Lady, the road leading to the area from Rekayi Tangwena Avenue had been renamed Congress Road, while the road leading to the open space from a southern direction had been named Gutsaruzhinji Walk.
Manyenyeni last year condemned the move to name the area after the First Family without the consent of the city fathers.
“My assumption is this can’t be permanent. We have not named any roads in Harare. Those are illegal structures,” Manyenyeni said
He also indicated that according to the Urban Councils Act section 212 (1), the naming of roads and streets within council areas remains the prerogative of the local authority.
The section reads: “The council may from time to time assign names to roads within the council area and cause the name of any road to be affixed to or painted on any house, building or other structure fronting upon any part of such road.”
Section 212 (3) reads in part: “No person shall, without the permission of the council — (a) destroy, remove or deface any name affixed or painted by the council in terms of subsection (1); or (b) destroy, remove or deface any number marked or affixed by a person in terms of a direction given under subsection (2) or by the council in terms of that subsection; or(c) fail to keep marked or affixed the number specified in the notice given under subsection (2).”