THE government has taken charge of organising the second Joshua Nkomo memorial lecture to be held in Gwanda, Matabeleland South, after the one in South Africa was marred by chaos.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
The memorial lecture will be held on September 1, the Joshua Nkomo Cultural Foundation (JNCF) announced.
Kwanele Hlabangana, a JNCF trustee, told journalists at a press conference that the government would now be in charge of the second lecture series set for Gwanda, inviting speakers and others to prevent chaos.
“Nkomo embraced everybody and that is why we did not exclude anyone in the inaugural lecture marred by rowdy behaviour,” Hlabangana said.
“As for the Gwanda event, the government is involved and is charge of organising the event in partnership with us.”
JCNF organised the inaugural Joshua Nkomo memorial lecture at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa last month, which saw one of the presenters and war veterans’ leader, Christopher Mutsvangwa being booed.
Mutsvangwa reportedly invited the wrath of the crowd, particularly activists from Matabeleland, when he spoke about his expulsion from the government, blaming a Zanu PF faction, G40, for his troubles.
“The government is the one that is inviting the presenters and others to attend the event,” Hlabangana said.
“There will be law enforcement agents and those that might want to disrupt the event might get arrested.
“Just like at a soccer match or at a wedding, there will always be that one rowdy character that might want to spoil the event, but we believe the government will make the necessary arrangements by ensuring we have law enforcement agents, so that the event runs smoothly.”
Nkomo, who was born on June 7, 1917 and died on July 1, 1999 at the age of 82, would have turned 100 this year and the Gwanda memorial lecture is one of the many events the JNCF has organised in his honour that will run up to June 2018.
Apart from the recently held Kezi centenary celebrations and memorial lecture in South Africa, JNCF has organised a Joshua Nkomo Memorial Youth symposium (August 31), Bulawayo Outreach Awards and the Joshua Nkomo Centenary Football Challenge, whose date is yet to be announced.
The events are sponsored by South Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman, Justice Maphosa who runs Bigtime Time Strategic Group, Tapela Incorporated Development Practitioners and Cradles of Influence Communications.
JNCF was formed in 2014 to “sustain and advance the legacy and vision” of the late Father Zimbabwe.