THE late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s daughter, Tandiwe Barbara Nkomo-Ebrahim, says government’s decision to partner the Joshua Nkomo National Foundation brings more hope to the fulfilment of the late Father Zimbabwe’s vision as they have been struggling to accomplish some of the projects due to financial constraints.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Speaking to Southern Eye on the side-lines of the launch of the Dr Joshua Nkomo’s Tourism Heritage Trails in Bulawayo on Wednesday, the late nationalist’s daughter paid homage to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government for coming on board. The Nkomo Heritage Trails was organised by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) as part of the on-going Sanganai/ Hlanganani-World Tourism Expo.
This year’s 11th edition of the world tourism showcase began with commemorations of the life of the late icon, founding nationalist and VP Nkomo.
“The honour means a great deal to the family, it is now 20 years after he passed. This is very known we had honours before, but now we understanding that it’s going to be full support from the government in terms of partnering with the foundation (Joshua Nkomo),” said Nkomo-Ebrahim.
“We are happy with such a recognition, there were some challenges in the past, but I think this new dispensation is going all the way out to make sure that history is set up. We are happy with the partnership because we had so many plans that we wanted to implement as a foundation, but because of resources and support we had not been able to accomplish everything, but now we think we have really great hope,” she said.
Nkomo-Ebrahim said the late VP had launched a number of social and economic programmes to keep the Nkomo legacy alive. “What Zimbabwe needs to know is that Nkomo cannot be relevant as a regional leader, he was the national leader, the founder of the struggle.”
ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke told Southern Eye that the initiative offers a unique package of historical tourism.
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“He was a tourism attraction himself as a person, but we are now following his footsteps with what we are calling Tourism Heritage Trails where Dr Joshua Nkomo had been involved and where he had stepped,” he said.
Kaseke said the partnership with government was testament that the current administration had departed from the old ways. He was optimistic that honouring the late VP constituted part of national reconciliation initiatives.
Meanwhile, business briefly came to a standstill in Bulawayo’s central business district as people flooded the streets and joined government officials, tourists and buyers for the march in honour of the late national hero, Nkomo.
The peaceful march started from the Blue Lagoon in Thorngrove via Stanley Square in Makokoba to the JM Nkomo statue in the city centre, ending at the Large City Hall.
Several cultural groups, artistes and poets took turns to entertain the masses during the procession which was led by the army band, alongside drum majorettes from different schools.
Sanganai/ Hlanganani-World Tourism Expo is an annual tourism trade fair organised by the ZTA and showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the globe.