BY SHARON SIBINDI
KING Lobengula’s descendants have urged Bulawayo City Council to honour the late national hero Dumiso Dabengwa by naming a street after him.
Dabengwa, who was Zipra’s intelligence chief during the liberation war and Home Affairs minister after independence, died in May.
He was declared a national hero, but was buried at his Ntabazinduna homestead.
Prince Zwide Khumalo said the King Lobengula Royal Trust had two proposals, which it wants council to consider.
“There should be a memorial service or services in the month of September or earlier if modalities allow. The theme could be Unity, Love and Peace or any other
that is fitting,” he said.
“This could be over and above prayer services, fund-raising activities towards his Foundation or directly towards charitable organisations or his family or
“The basis of the chosen approach may be his strength in humility, empathy and love for the Umthwakazi nation.
“An advocacy programme must be set up to influence Bulawayo City Council to name one of its permanent physical features, like Fife Street, after him.”
Khumalo said a meeting convened by civic society groups and Zapu could lead the process to honour Dabengwa.
“Other local political parties that have a passion for uMthwakazi must be active in supporting the community’s and Zapu’s efforts,” he said.
“The Royal House of the Khumalos, through the King Lobengula Royal Trust, makes this proposal to the uMthwakazi nation with passion because it firmly believes
Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, the Black Russian, is one among our heroes that made a positive contribution towards sustaining our nationhood.
“As a people, it is important to unashamedly recognise our own and he is.”
Khumalo said Dabengwa was a leading figure in the protracted war of liberation and deserved to be recognised.
“Of note is his frontline participation in the (1967) Wankie Battle with people of recognition in Pan-Africanism like Chris Hani, leadership in the Zpra
forces, intelligence, leadership of Zapu and development efforts in Matabeleland after independence in 1980,” he added.
“As a nation, we owe him a lot and love him.
“It can only be fitting for uMthwakazi to unite with the brutal determination to preserve his lifetime legacy, shame those that have betrayed the struggle and
comfort his family.”
Dabengwa died in Nairobi, Kenya, en-route to Zimbabwe from India where he had gone for treatment.