The Minister of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage has declared Stanley Hall and Square a National Monument with effect from 13 January 2017.
The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe Regional Director Dr Maira Fitzpatrick said Stanley Hall and Square located in Makokoba Bulawayo’s oldest Township, was nominated through a Statutory Instrument 2 of 2017.
Since the Hall is now a National Monument, Dr Fitzpatrick said a team of monuments Inspectors will also carry out periodic inspections of the National Monument as part of its efforts towards its conservation and management.
“Any structural modifications to the building and Square will have to be done in consultation with the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe as provided for under the National Museums and Monuments Act Cap 25/11,” said Dr Fitzpatrick.
The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe however made it clear that the declaration will not affect the ownership Historic Hall.
“The nomination of Stanley Hall and Square does not change its legal status as a property of Bulawayo City Council. The declaration serves to enhance its protection and preservation as an iconic site associated with the liberation history of the country,” added Dr Fitzpatrick.
Commenting at the full Council meeting, Makokoba Councillor, James Sithole said the declaration of the Stanley Square was a good move especially at a time when the City of Bulawayo is promoting the concept of township tourism.
Stanley Hall and Square was constructed in 1935 and was used as a venue for entertainment and political meetings. Other Monuments in Bulawayo include Old Bulawayo, the Natural History Museum and the National Art Gallery among others.