The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has filed an application at the High Court in Bulawayo challenging government’s decision to rename streets.
BPRA said that the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ignored the proposals made by the City of Bulawayo and came up with a list of names that is different from that forwarded to it, which list is captured in the Statutory Instrument in issue.
BPRA contends that the Ministry of Local Government did not consider the provisions in section 4(2) of the ENABLING ACT before coming up with a raft of names that sought to impose on the City of Bulawayo and the citizens of this City of Bulawayo.
BPRA further argues that according to Section 4(2) of the Urban Councils Act, it is clear that the Minister of Local Government shall not alter any names in terms of subsection (1) unless he has consulted the owner of the land before the alteration is to take place. However, having a deep and abiding interest in such matters, Ministry of Local Government did not consult the City of Bulawayo about the alteration of the names.
The alteration of names of streets and buildings in any place is a very sensitive and personal affair which the enabling Act was alive to, by making it a condition precedent for consultations to take place with the owner of the land before it was done, BPRA said in its founding affidavit.
The affidavit concludes by stating that “Such actions and the resultant Statutory Instrument should be nullified for these reasons, at least to the extent that they purportedly affect the City of Bulawayo”.