Mnangagwa criticised after unveiling Mbuya Nehanda statue on Africa Day

HARARE – Zimbabwe has marked Africa Day with the unveiling of a huge new monument in central Harare built to honour Mbuya Nehanda, a heroine of the country’s first independence war.

However, opposition officials said that the money could have been better spent on equipping a maternity hospital that bears her name in Harare.

The traditional chiefs conducted rituals at the site of the monument in central Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa inspected the guard of honour, and there was a 21-gun salute and a fly pass by jet fighters.

Mbuya Nehanda played a key role in the 1896 rebellion against white settlers and was later a rallying inspiration for those fighting for independence. Mnangagwa called for the return of her bones. The government said they were in a museum in the UK.

But on social media, critics said the government, which on Tuesday took delivery of a donation of cyclone aid from South Africa, should have made better use of taxpayers’ money.