Construction of the US$350 million Liberation City, which will house the Museum of African Liberation, is now at 12%, with some parts of the museum now open to the public, Head of Secretariat, Ambassador Kwame Muzavazi has said.
Addressing journalists during a media tour of the facility last week, Muzavazi said he was pleased with the progress so far, considering the magnitude of the project and the short period from when the ground breaking ceremony was done.
He dismissed assertions by some sections to the effect that authorities were hiding behind the project to extract gold from the area, between Samora Machel Avenue and Kirkman Road beginning at the corner of Golden Quarry Avenue to the East and bordered by Westlea Suburb to the West.
“If there is any gold here, it is the heritage. We are putting together a golden heritage and construction is happening everywhere. The museum itself has breached the 11% threshold to 12 % as of yesterday (last Tuesday), for a project that began less than a year ago when His Excellency laid the foundation stone. So some things have already opened and some are opening gradually,” he said.
He added; “Our own offices are already open and it’s moving slowly but with the thrust of rapid development. The thrust of the RMD, which is exactly what you can see; adding value to the people and adding value to the country,”.
Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Broadcasting Services, Kindness Paradza, whose ministry organised the tour, noted that a lot of people were not aware of what was going on at the museum, adding that the media had a role to play in conscietising them.
“My Minister thought it’s important for you to come here and see for yourself and so that you appreciate what is happening here at the Liberation City. The media communicate with the public and you have to do your job so we thought we should educate you on what is happening here so that when you do your story you are aware of what is happening,”.
He said the museum was strategically positioned and was one of the major complexes in Harare which compared very well with the New Cyber City being constructed in Mt Hampden.
“There are three institutions that are here as the Liberation City, the National Heroes Acre and the National Stadium, they are all in one place. Apart from that, this is the hub of our liberation history in Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond in terms of slave trade,” he said.
The Museum of African Liberation Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Joseph Nkani, said so far they had put together a collection of various artefacts from different stakeholders which they were exhibiting to visitors.
Among the artefacts on display are donations from late heroes Leopold Takawira, Josiah Magama Tongara, Joshua Nkomo and Simon Muzenda’s families.
“The Josiah Magama family gave us this pistol, this is the service pistol that Josiah Magama Tongogara was using during the liberation struggle during the time of his command of the ZANLA Forces. They also gave us his uniform that he used during the liberation struggle. The family had kept these artefacts for 40y ears up to a time when we broke the ground for setting up the museum, that’s when they donated these pieces to us, they thought they would add value and also be part of the collection that we have,” Nkani told journalist during the tour.
Some of the items include the trunk used by Leopold Takawira while in prison, his radio and camera, the uniform that Tongogara used during the liberation struggle, the late VP Joshua Nkomo’s rifle which he used in the struggle, is walking sticks and some of his clothes and collections from the late VP Muzenda’s family.
There is also the miniature stature of the late American boxer, Mahomed Ali which was donated the JR foundation.
“The link is we are trying to connect our brothers and sisters who were displaced from mother Africa through slavery to other territories of the world. So there are on-going talks between us and them to see if there can be more artefacts that can be sent through to us and also if they could connect with the Black Africans in the Diaspora so that they can also be part of the project, because if you look at it, we can’t talk of the liberation struggle without talking of slavery,” Nkani said.