Vice-President John Nkomo failed to turn up for an official government engagement at the 11th hour in Harare yesterday sparking fresh fears about his ill health.
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office Flora Bhuka had to represent him as the reviewing officer at the police pass- out parade at Morris Depot where 348 recruits graduated.
Nkomo’s portraits were hanged together with national and police flags adjacent to the Morris Depot Green Square, a police custom to honour the reviewing officer at the police graduating parade.
Nkomo has reportedly been receiving specialist treatment in neighbouring South Africa as he continues his battle with cancer. It is understood that the 77-year-old Nkomo had been missing several crucial government and Zanu PF meetings due to the illness.
Contacted for comment, Information ministry principal director Regis Chikowore said he wanted to check with Bhuka first the reasons why Nkomo had failed to turn up for the occasion, but had not responded by the time of going to print.
In a speech read on his behalf, Nkomo challenged his peers in government and political party leaders to inculcate a culture of peace ahead of next year’s general elections to avoid a bloodbath.
“Political leaders should demonstrate maturity and tolerance by encouraging their supporters to shun violence and live in harmony with people who have different political opinions and tastes,” Nkomo said.
“We should take cognisance of the fact that elections are events which come and go, but our brotherhood is enduring and it flourishes when watered by love and unity of purpose.”
He called on police to arrest perpetrators of violence.
“Police officers should deal decisively with drivers who violate traffic laws, overload and use unroadworthy vehicles.
“We cannot continue losing precious lives year in year out through road carnage especially considering the fact that most of the accidents are attributed to human error and vehicle defects,” Nkomo said.