Zanu-PF to rename the Victoria Falls

THE mighty Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is set to be renamed alongside several other institutions, following a weekend Zanu PF resolution to have them named after the country’s Chimurenga heroes and freedom fighters.

National parks at the premier tourist resort are Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park on the Zambian side and Victoria Falls National Park on the Zimbabwean side.  However, next to the falls on the southern bank is the Zambezi National Park, extending 40km west along the river.

The resolution was made by Zanu PF’s committee on sports, culture, religion and liberation war heritage at the Zanu PF annual conference which ended in Chinhoyi on Saturday. Committee chairman Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo said it did not make sense for colonial names to remain in place in an independent Zimbabwe.

“Institutions bearing colonial names must be changed and be given indigenous names . . . school syllabuses must also change. We should teach our children about Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, General (Josiah Magama) Tongogara and other gallant fighters of our liberation struggle,” Chombo said.

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda said there was no going back on the resolution.

“We still have institutions like Allan Wilson School, what an insult considering what that man did to our country. David Livingstone was not the first person to see the Victoria Falls, they (the falls) must be rebranded Mosi-Oa-Tunya. We have soldiers living at KG (King George) VI (Barracks). 

“How can we have our barracks continue to be named after a foreign king?” Sibanda queried.
Sibanda also rubbished possibilities that the move would impact negatively on tourists for sites like Victoria Falls, visited by around 30 000 people every year.

“People are not visiting (Queen) Victoria, but the falls. If they want to see the legacy of Queen Victoria, her grave is there in England and they are free to do so. Very soon they would be landing at Robert Mugabe International Airport,” the firebrand war veterans’ leader quipped.

Some of the institutions still recognised by their colonial names include Prince Edward School in Harare, Allan Wilson High School in Harare (named after a brave colonial soldier), Queen Elizabeth High School in Harare,Victoria High School in Masvingo (named after British Queen Victoria), David Livingstone Primary School in Harare, Churchill Boys High School in Harare (named after former British Premier Winston Churchill), Cecil John Rhodes School in Gweru (named after colonial master Cecil John Rhodes), KG VI Barracks (named after King George the 6th), Cecil Kop, Rhodes Nyanga National Park, Courtney Selous Primary School (named after famous white hunter, Frederick Courtney Selous).

Just after independence, Zimbabwe changed the names of major roads throughout the country, replacing colonial ones with those of liberation war fighters.