Zanu PF founder member and veteran nationalist Enos Nkala is reportedly seriously ill, resulting in him failing to attend the burial of his close friend, Edgar Tekere, at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare yesterday.
A representative of the Tekere family, Stephen Gada, confirmed the development during Tekere’s burial yesterday.
“Enos Nkala gave an apology saying he is very ill. Nkala was a very close friend of the late Tekere,” said Gada.
Yesterday, Nkala confirmed in a telephone interview from his Bulawayo home that he was not well, but said it was “not something very serious”.
He declined to disclose the nature of his ailment, saying he was in bed relaxing after receiving medication.
Nkala was Zimbabwe’s Defence minister during the Gukurahundi massacres in the Midlands and Matabeleland regions in which almost 20 000 lives were lost.
Nkala, a rabid critic of President Robert Mugabe, had an inglorious exit from Zanu PF in the 1990s after falling out with his erstwhile colleagues in the then Zanu PF-led government.
In a recent interview with NewsDay, Nkala said:
“People get intimidated by his (President Mugabe’s) eloquence, but I have no regard for him. In fact, he is one of the people I have a very low opinion of. Some people are talented to emerge among others, but it doesn’t mean they are better than others.”
Nkala claims to have written a book chronicling all that has happened in Zanu PF since its formation, including the Gukurahundi massacres and the assassinations of several high-profile Zanu PF politicians in mysterious circumstances.
However, he said the book would only be published after his death.
Last week, Nkala produced his own list of proposed heroes and said he had “a low opinion” of President Mugabe.
Nkala’s list includes himself, Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa, President Mugabe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru and her husband Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru, Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and Vice-President John Nkomo.
“The rest, we will be wasting our time discussing them — rubbish, garbage, waste.”