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R3,6 million consumables for Mbuya Nehanda statue get free duty

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

Consumables worth R2,184575 million for galvanizing the Mbuya Nehanda statue from South Africa have been granted free duty by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).

Mbuya Nehanda 's sculpture
Mbuya Nehanda ‘s sculpture

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is erecting the First Chimurenga war heroine’s monumental statue at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way.

On behalf of a company called Zimbabwe CRSG Constitution Pvt Limited, Local Government Ministry requested free duty to be granted by border authorities, ZIMRA for the importation of consumables for Mbuya Nehanda statue.

“It is hereby certified that the undermentioned consumable materials and living goods are specifically for use by Zimbabwe CRSG Constitution Pvt Limited and are also provided for in terms of Statutory Instrument Number 154 of 2021.

“Part XIII subsection 144G of Customs and exercise and in terms of Section 137 of Customs and Exercise (General Regulations). Accordingly, a duty free certificate for the following is granted,” read the request by the Local Government which was granted by ZIMRA.

Accordingly, the materials which are being imported are 16 galvanised steel bridge, components off 12 meter each, weighing 4000kg each while weighing 64000kg in total.

The construction of the statue has since caused outcry from the public who argue that the leadership is not prioritising to resolve challenges like the healthcare system which has been in shambles for over two two decades.

Award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono questioned how the government would justify spending millions of money on the Mbuya Nehanda statue when hospitals are struggling.

He also claimed that the statue cost US$100 000 (R1,511,510.00) for transportation only.

Meanwhile adding the cost of the consumables and transportation the figures jump to R3,696,085 million.

“How do you justify spending R2,184575 million on galvanizing a statue in South Africa when Harare Hospital has NO working maternity theater?

“How do you justify spending around US$100k to transport it when citizens on lockdown have no food?” Chin’ono asked.

Recently, Mnangagwa ordered the statue to be redone in order to capture the image that has been in existence in the national psyche, backed by contemporary photographs, since her hanging in March 1898.

This followed after the one made first had a youthful portrayal of the heroine which was contrary to the older image that Zimbabweans had become accustomed to through archival memory, leading to public outrage.