There are renewed calls to erect the late Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo's statue in Harare in honour of his contribution to the liberation of the country as the nation prepares to commemorate this year's Heroes Day next week.

This year's Heroes Day commemorations will be held next Monday and the main celebrations will be in Harare.

Dr Nkomo's statue was unveiled in Bulawayo in 2013 and is mounted at the intersection of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 8th Avenue.

The unveiling of the statue coincided with the renaming of the Bulawayo Airport after the late Father Zimbabwe.

When it unveiled the statue, Government said the second statue was going to be erected in Harare hence the renewed calls for this to be fulfilled.

Father Zimbabwe died on 1 July 1999 and left a legacy of peace, unity, nation building and tolerance.

Dr Nkomo is among the pioneer nationalists who challenged the colonial injustice of the Rhodesian settler regime.

Reflecting on the death of Father Zimbabwe this year, his daughter Mrs Thandi Nkomo-Ibrahim said there was a need for Government to erect the second statue in Harare.

Mrs Nkomo-Ibrahim said erecting Dr Nkomo's second statue in Harare was very befitting given his contribution to the liberation struggle and to the country's development after independence.

"We call on the Government to erect the statue in Harare as was planned. This is also in sync with the fact Dr Nkomo was not a regional leader but a national leader," said Mrs Nkomo-Ebrahim.

She said she supported citizens' calls to declare July 1 a national holiday to honour Father Zimbabwe.

National Museum and Monuments of Zimbabwe director Dr Godfrey Mahachi said plans are on course to erect the late Dr Nkomo's statue in Harare.

He said the late revered national hero contributed immensely to the liberation struggle and to the development of the country after independence hence the calls for the erection of the second statue.

"I don't think anyone would want an explanation as to why we are erecting Dr Joshua Nkomo's second statue in Harare. It could be in Harare, it could be Mutare, Masvingo, Beitbridge or Chirundu. I think any place in Zimbabwe can have Dr Nkomo's statue" said Dr Mahachi.

He said the message is that Zimbabwe is remembering someone who made a difference for the nation.

Dr Mahachi urged citizens to be patient as his department works on finalising the project.

"We are working on this project and soon things will happen. It's on our plans but I can't give you the timelines because there are processes that have to be followed," he said.

Source - The Chronicle