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Vol 51 No 18

Published 10th September 2010


Zimbabwe

Ghostly presences

As Mugabe’s party declines in Matebeleland, the old alternative resistance movement is climbing out of the grave

A black shroud materialised on Bulawayo’s Main Street a month ago in the dead of night and has since been guarded around the clock by uniformed and plainclothes security officers. It stands where once a Maxim gun commemorated the breaking of Ndebele power by Cecil Rhodes and his Pioneers in the 1890s. It is over six metres high and is believed to cover a massive statue and plinth honouring Joshua Nkomo, the Ndebele leader who hoped to become President at Independence. He died in 1999 and has recently become a nostalgic cult figure in Matebeleland.

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