MDC-T president Nelson Chamisa has declared April the month of liberation war heroes, as the opposition party plans to honour the country’s heroes and heroines through various activities.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zimbabwe celebrates Independence Day on April 18, and Chamisa said the opposition party saw it fit to have month-long celebrations, starting with a visit to the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s house on Saturday.
Chamisa visited Nkomo’s Matsheumhlophe residence, now a museum — the Joshua Nkomo Museum. He was accompanied by MDC Alliance leaders who were in Bulawayo for a rally.
“This month is a very important month for us. It’s our independence month, and we have announced as a party that we are going to use this month for various activities to not only remember our icons, to celebrate our heroes but also to trace our path to a new Zimbabwe,” Chamisa said in an interview after the visit.
Nkomo passed away in 1999.
“We have also taken this opportunity to honour the late Nkomo for the role that he played. We feel that he was not treated well by government. We feel that he was abused, his role and contribution and significance was undermined and those are the reasons why we are here because we are connecting with that generation of liberation fighters,” he said.
“We believe that going forward, we need to do more. We need a grant that supports this historical site for purposes of history,” he said before calling on the Bulawayo City Council to exempt the museum from paying rates in honour of the late Father Zimbabwe.
MDC president Welshman Ncube in a separate interview said the visit by the MDC Alliance leaders to the museum was a significant acknowledgment of the role Nkomo played before and after independence in 1980.
“The importance of leadership at national level is to be able to be at one and in sync with the history, the cultures and the traditions of all the constituency elements, the nationalities, the communities in your country, the people you intend to lead,” he said.
“You must be able to identify with the issues that are important to them. The late VP was important firstly the national level as the VP and leader of Zapu. His national status as Father Zimbabwe cannot be doubted so when Chamisa visits, it is therefore an important acknowledgement of that history, of those traditions and cultures. It is to say to the communities we are one, and bound together by a common history.”
Jabulani Hadebe, the chief executive officer of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation which runs the museum, said the Nkomo family was honoured by the MDC Alliance leaders’ visit.