BY SILAS NKALA
OPPOSITION political parties and civic society organisations (CSOs) yesterday said political leaders who have condemned citizens to poverty and political persecution should take stock and observe the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo’s ideals of peace and unity.
The political parties and CSOs made the remarks as the nation celebrated the life of Father Zimbabwe on July 1. Nkomo died on July 1, 1999 and PF Zapu, the party he led before the Unity
Accord, has been calling for the day to be declared a national holiday without success.
Church and Civic Society Joint Forum national organiser Abigail Mupambi yesterday said Nkomo was an icon of peace and a unifier.
“It’s a challenging moment where we must take stock of ourselves as a people and the nation at large, reflecting on how much of attention, recognition and commitment we are giving to
the ideals which Father Zimbabwe stood for,” Mupambi said.
“Nkomo was an icon of peace, a unifier – Chibwe Chitedza – so to say. The name was given him in Mashonaland after he successfully defeated the barriers of tribalism in his fight for freedom for all Zimbabweans, irrespective of colour, tribe and gender. We ought to go back to the basics he stood for, which saw Zimbabwe being liberated.”
She said to Nkomo, people were more important than power; a principle that is lacking in Zimbabwean politics today.
Zipra veterans association secretary-general Petros Sibanda said Nkomo would love to see implementation of PF Zapu economic policies, including devolution.
“I think Nkomo’s vision on buying land and properties (Nitram Properties) was a noble one for the future and would have provided employment for entire generations to come. The late icon
was a great visionary in all spheres of life. Zimbabwe is very rich in minerals and agriculture,” Sibanda said.
“We have conducive weather, but our big challenge is mismanagement and corruption, which we should all denounce as a people. lf we could swallow our pride and implement most of the
programmes that promote local production and inflow of foreign currencies, we will cherish and salute the late icon for life.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Western Region chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said bad governance was affecting lives.
“But, on sad note, citizens are reeling in extreme poverty due to bad governance and policies which are highly oppressive and not in line with what Father Zimbabwe fought for. Aluba
kuthiwa umuntu engafa uyathola ithuba lokuthi avuke (If it’s possible that when a person dies, he awakes), he was going to be the most disappointed man due to the suffering of the people and unemployment levels experienced in this country,” Sibindi said.
“I think the onus now lies with us, the living, to fight this regime to fulfil the objectives and what Father Zimbabwe anticipated to see in a free Zimbabwe.”
Zanu PF national youth deputy secretary for administration Mabutho Moyo said: “He (Nkomo) was a personification of humility, a servant leader, who always put the interests of those he
led first. I will forever remember him for the 1987 Unity Accord. Very few people would have done as he did, in a similar situation. He is a true inspiration to me.”
Zapu director of communication, Patrick Ndlovu, said Nkomo represented the conscience of all erstwhile and worthy leaders of this country.
He said in 1984, Nkomo spoke of policy inconsistencies and blamed failure of government programmes on competence, commitment of individual ministers and civil servants.
“The National Transitional Development Plan was abandoned as useless even before it became, and has yet to be replaced. Without any overall programme for the nation, we are left with
the spontaneous and chaotic rule of government by impulse. Decisions are being made at the spur of the moment, without any planned basis. Government jumps from one direction to another,
from day to day,” Nkomo said then.
“The vital struggle for development and for the eradication of poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease has been left only to the so-called experts and party politicians.”
Ndlovu said Nkomo’s words had come to pass as evidenced by the recent policy inconsistencies which saw the introduction of Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 that banned the use of
multi-currencies in the country.
Habakkuk Trust chief executive Dumisani Nkomo said Father Zimbabwe “envisaged a new Zimbabwe which was not the Zimbabwe we see today”.
MDC Bulawayo spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza said Nkomo is among the few authentic liberators who had distinguished himself from many who lead Zanu PF today.
“Nkomo did not conspire with foreigners to slaughter PF Zapu members. Nkomo disliked tribalism. He was exemplary. The late Nkomo would never ever turn the AK47 rifle on fellow
compatriots,” Chirowodza said.
It is now 20 years since the late nationalist died. Government honoured him by naming the Bulawayo airport and Main Street after him, as well as erect his statue along the same street.
The Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Foundation yesterday conducted a march from Mpopoma to White City Stadium in commemoration of Nkomo’s life, with various musicians performing.