CHAIRMAN of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation, Francis Nhema, has rapped the emergence of several organisations purporting to be fighting to preserve the late nationalist’s legacy for causing confusion through their unco-ordinated projects.
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Speaking to NewsDay on Saturday on the sidelines of the launch of the National Tree Planting Day at Nyamandlovu Secondary School in Umguza, Nhema conceded his organisation was facing several bottlenecks in its attempts to preserve the late nationalist’s legacy, but blamed other unco-ordinated activities carried out by other like-minded organisations for creating “unnecessary confusion”.
“My view is that because of his (Nkomo’s) importance, there are too many organisations working on something to do with Father Zimbabwe and at the end of the day these efforts are unco-ordinated,” he said without naming the organisations.
“What is worse is that these organisations do not necessarily work with or through the foundation on their projects.”
Some of the organisations involved in Nkomo projects include the Friends of Joshua Trust, Ematonjeni Cultural Society, the board for Ekusileni Hospital in Bulawayo, and the Development Trust of Zimbabwe, through which the icon wanted to pursue various projects including the Nuanetsi Ranch in Beitbridge.
“The other problem is that when it is decided that government should pursue a certain project relating to Father Zimbabwe, be it to do with the airport or the statue, there tends to be some interference instead of letting government do the project,” Nhema said.
A statue of Nkomo that had been erected on Main Street in Bulawayo’s central business district was pulled down two years ago after the late nationalist’s family and other stakeholders complained the platform on which it stood was too low and not befitting the colossal figure that he was.
The statue has not been re-erected and even the road on which it was supposed to be put is yet to be renamed after him.
A Joshua Nkomo memorial lecture organised by the National University of Science and Technology to coincide with the 13th anniversary of late nationalist’s death was cancelled at the eleventh hour under unclear circumstances in July this year.
Former Industry and Commerce minister Nkosana Moyo had been shortlisted as guest speaker at the function.
A member of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation said: “In some situations, some members are personalising these things and do not have the stamina to push the projects and, to tell the truth, should actually quit.”