War veterans from Matabeleland North are set to visit the Provincial Heroes’ Acre amid reports that some daring thieves recently pounced on the resting place for the galant sons and daughters where they allegedly cut an undisclosed length of barbed wire leaving the northern side of the shrine without security fence, the state media reported Tuesday.
The fence was reportedly donated by a businessman from Umguza.
According to Matabeleland North war veterans’ chairperson Sonny Mguni said the former liberation war fighters will Friday visit the provincial shrine to assess the situation.
“We got a report from our people on the ground and we will be going there on Friday to assess the situation. That fence was donated by a businessman from Umguza to protect the shrine and we were excited by the development not knowing some people will steal it,” Mguni said.
“No arrest has been made as yet but we suspect people from nearby villages but we will wait for police to do their job hoping that the suspects will be nabbed soon. We are told they cut the whole side and my fear is we will once again have a situation where cattle and goats damage the graves,” he said.
The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) also confirmed the thefts at the gazetted monument and said investigations were underway.
NMMZ director Dr Godfrey Mahachi expressed disappointment over the sad development which he said ”shouldn’t be happening at all”.
“I haven’t gotten a full report but I am disappointed that you get people with no respect like that. How can someone go to a provincial shrine and steal fence? This shouldn’t be happening at all. We thought we had moved a step in the right direction only to get people who don’t understand the value of such monuments. We will have a team from Bulawayo museums to go and assess the situation,” he said.
Efforts to get in touch with Matabeleland North provincial police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese were not successful.