HomeLocal NewsPF-Zapu stalwarts ditch Joshua Nkomo

PF-Zapu stalwarts ditch Joshua Nkomo


Former PF-Zapu leaders have ditched their erstwhile leader the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo by refusing to involve themselves in the war of words that has erupted between his family and government over the construction of the statue of Father Zimbabwe at Karigamombe Centre in Harare.
The Nkomo family has declared war on government over erection of the statue threatening to have it pulled down because it was an “insult” to the memory of the national hero.
Yesterday sources revealed that members of the Nkomo family spent the last two weeks shuttling from office to office, including those of former PF-Zapu leaders, to stop the building of the statue but this was all in vain. Co-Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, whose ministry presides over such issues through the Department of National Museums and Monuments, distanced himself from the comments made by the Nkomo family.
“I have no comment on that one. Please just leave me alone,’’ he said.
Mohadi is a former PF-Zapu stalwart who was one of the commanders in the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army’s (Zipra) intelligence unit during the liberation struggle. The most senior PF-Zapu member in Zanu PF, Vice President John Nkomo has shied away from making public statements on the controversial issue at a time when most of Father Zimbabwe’s followers would have expected him to take up the cudgel on behalf of his deceased colleague.
He could not be reached for comment yesterday but sources say he was aware of the sentiments of the Nkomo family.
The Local Government ministry which is linked to the statue project is also reported to be one of the ministries that Nkomo supervises. Analysts say some of the former PF-Zapu leaders were “charity cases” having been directly appointed by President Robert Mugabe and not elected by the people and did not want to “bite the hand” that feeds them. Another former PF-Zapu leader and Zanu PF politburo member Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu also refused to commit himself on the issue, hiding behind the fact that “as a member of the Nkomo Foundation, I cannot respond to the family through the Press”.
“If there are issues, I will discuss them with the family, not through the Press,”he curtly remarked yesterday.
The Harare City Council yesterday absolved itself of the controversial issue saying it was a “national project” and therefore under the Local Government ministry.
The Mining Industry Pension Fund has taken the case to court, opposing the erection of the statue on their premises. They argue that the proposed site has been reserved for a food court.
Spokesperson of the revived Zapu Methuseli Moyo said that the inaction by former PF-Zapu leaders on the issue of the statue showed that they were mere passengers in the 1987 unity arrangement. He said the former PF-Zapu leaders confirmed that they no longer represented PF-Zapu interests.
“To start with, Zapu strongly support the stance by the Nkomo family,” he said. “To all those in Zanu PF who are former PF-Zapu members, what we want to say is that you are masquerading as people representing Zapu in Zanu PF.
“I don’t think there is anything they can do or they have done on this matter. Nkomo is a gigantic victim of Zanu PF machinations.” Moyo said the whole issue was not about “honouring Nkomo” but calculated to humiliate him.
Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, himself a former Zanu PF Politburo member, accused the former PF-Zapu leaders of betraying their “revolutionary colleague” to protect their positions either in government or Zanu PF. The Nkomo family issued a scathing statement on Tuesday part of which reads: “To those former PF-Zapu people who sat in that room and allowed this absurdity to take place, we say to you: do not forget that it was mostly Dr Nkomo’s personal sacrifice and hard work that made it possible for you to occupy your current positions of high office.”

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