HomeLocal NewsZipra vets honour late VP Nkomo

Zipra vets honour late VP Nkomo

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Former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) veterans Friday paid tribute to Joshua Nkomo by cutting grass around a yet-to-be opened medical centre built in his honour in Hillside.

However, the over 20 ex-Zipra veterans had to wait for about four hours to be allowed into the grounds of the hospital.

NewsDay caught up with the war veterans at the gates of the office before they were cleared to clean up the place. Zipra Veterans Trust spokesperson Marshall Mpofu said they had been made to wait for clearance since 8 o’clock in the morning.

“It has been days since we spoke about this clean-up. We have made it clear that we want to highlight the need for this hospital to open up. We believed that the best way we could commemorate the death of our commander was to clean up the grounds at this hospital that has been neglected for long.

“We wanted to send the message that as much as we (the nation) celebrate his life and commemorate his death, it would be ideal that this hospital be opened. A lot of people have to go outside the country when we have a specialist hospital here,” he said.

“We first spoke to an official called Dube at the council offices who said there were problems in that there had to be clearance from the State’s intelligence department. He later referred us to Vice-President John Nkomo and we have been waiting here. Now they are saying we should talk to Thandi (Nkomo’s daughter). Nkomo was our commander; we don’t have to go through these hassles. We are doing this in the spirit of commemorating our commander’s death,” Mpofu said.

It was at 12 noon that another contingent of the former freedom fighters arrived and said they had clearance from Thandi Nkomo and the gates were opened for them to start working.

Joshua Nkomo, who was the president of Zapu, was the commander-in-chief of Zipra, the party’s fighting arm.

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