THE launch of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo annual public lecture series has been thrown off-rail after organisers postponed the event to honour the late nationalist to July next year.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma, Staff Reporter
Vice-President Joshua Nkomo died in July 1999.
The lecture series, a brainchild of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation and the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), was initially set for July this year with former Industry and International Trade minister Nkosana Moyo billed to give the inaugural lecture.
However, the function was abruptly cancelled at the eleventh hour amid reports that Zanu PF bigwigs had been unsettled by Moyo’s involvement.
Moyo unceremoniously resigned from the government after tendering his resignation letter by fax from South Africa following his fallout with President Robert Mugabe in 2001.
Nkomo’s daughter Thandiwe Nkomo Ibrahim yesterday said they had to cancel this year’s event due to logistical challenges.
“It (memorial lecture) won’t be held this year, we will aim for July next year. I think this year the timing was off and we were not very much prepared in terms of finance,” she said, adding Mugabe was set to present the inaugural lecture.
“Definitely that (to have Mugabe presenting the lecture) is the position now. The inaugural lecture has to be presented by him.”
Nust spokesperson Felix Moyo said: “We are still waiting for the organisers. When they are ready they will come to us, we are merely providing a venue.”
Environment and Natural Resources Management minister Francis Nhema, who is chairperson of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation, said it had always been the board’s position that Mugabe would officiate as the main speaker at such an event and this would go along with other plans like the unveiling of the Nkomo statue.