Industry deputy minister and businessman Raj Modi says he will name his shopping mall situated in Bulawayo`s Cowdray Park suburb after President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The shopping mall which was meant to be opened in December, is four months behind schedule and the opening has since been moved to a later date.
Modi announced the latest development on his official Twitter account, stating that the majority of the employees will be local from the suburb as well as from his Bulawayo South Constituency.
“The Cowdray Park shopping mall, which was supposed to be opened in December, is four months behind schedule after we encountered a bedrock. 300 people will be employed, a good percentage of them will be from Cowdray Park and #Bulawayo South. It will be named after @edmnangagwa,”Modi tweeted.
Reacting to the tweet, political analysts in Bulawayo said naming a structure constructed in Matabeleland after the President would be not sit well with people from the region.
“This is just an insult to the people of Matabeleland, it clearly shows that Modi only cares about money and his business ventures,” said Mbuso Fuzwayo, Ibhetshu LikaZulu secretary- general.
“lf he did care about the people of Matabeleland he was not going to name a structure in Matabeleland after the President because of the role he played in hurting the people of Matabeleland.”
He said it is a tragedy to have someone from Matabeleland having to look for a name outside Matabeleland especially of a person who does not share the same sentiments as that of the Matabeleland people.
“We have many people working hard here in Bulawayo but they have never been honoured, he should have chosen someone from Matabeleland,” said Fuzwayo.
Dumisani Mpofu, said Modi was trying to please his political handlers.
“Modi’s bootlicking has become too much, this will probably bring excitement to structures within ZANU-PF,” said Mpofu.
“Despite this shopping mall being privately owned, it is not a good idea to name it after the President because ZANU-PF lost its popularity in Bulawayo and Mat South during elections”.
He said despite the good works Modi has done for the community, it cannot erase the atrocities that were committed by the government.
“History cannot be ignored by projecting people who wronged the people of Matabeleland, it will not make them forget,” said Mpofu.
ZAPU spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa,stated that while Modi was within his rights to christen the shopping mall after Mnangagwa, there will be consequences.
“In as much as we don’t have power in the naming of the structure, there will be effects in the long run,” said Maphosa.