Battle for control of Nkomo legacy rages

The late Dr Joshua Nkomo

THE late Father Zimbabwe Joshua Nkomo’s son, Sibangilizwe, yesterday insisted he was head of the family and Nyongolo clan after other family members said he had no authority to speak on their behalf, as the battle for control of Nkomo’s legacy rages.


Earlier this week, Sibangilizwe took a dig at his sister Thandiwe accusing her of allegedly leading a “bogus” and “politically mischievous” institution, the Joshua Nkomo National Foundation (JNNF).

Sibangilizwe said only the Joshua Nkomo Legacy Restoration Project Trust (JNLRPT), which he leads, was the rightful organisation to host events and other activities in honour of the late Vice-President and national hero. He made the statements on behalf of the Nkomo family and Nyongolo clan, a charge others denied as false.

“The head of the Nyongolo family is the last born son of Nyongolo, Edward Nkomo. The mistake people make is thinking Joshua was Nyongolo. He was the son of Nyongolo, so there is no way Sibangilizwe could be head of a clan abadala bephila (when the elders are alive),” some some family members who declined to be named.
Sibangilziwe, however, insisted he was the head of the Nkomo family and Nyongolo clan.

“They are wrong. Edward has never claimed to be the head of the clan. I am actually closer to the clan head than Edward. The big house in the Nyongolo clan was that of Joshua. The heir as clan leader is Thuthani, after Thuthani there is his son (Qabu) who has been absent from the country for years,” Sibangilizwe said.

“And in his (Qabu’s) absence, Edward named me regent of the Nyongolo clan, and so I am rightfully claiming that position that is acknowledged by my uncle (Edward) and the big family house. There are people who want to speak on behalf of Edward for some unknown reasons,” Sibangilizwe told Southern Eye.

“In our tradition, we have never been led by women (in reference to Thandiwe). They conduct their duties in their capacity as advisers.”

There is a rift in the Nkomo family on whose shoulders Nkomo’s legacy should be bestowed, and recently, Thandiwe’s JNNF organised a separate memorial lecture in honour of the late VP, which Sibangilziwe distanced himself from.

Sibangilizwe’s JNLRPT is planning a separate event scheduled for the Chinhoyi University of Technology post-lifting of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

However, Sibangilizwe had no kind words for Thandiwe’s JNNF, which he accused of “abuse and political exploitation of our father and icon” but also “hell bent on destroying and tarnishing the Joshua Nkomo brand” for selfish and sinister motives.


  1. Sibangilizwe, as the eldest son, is undoubtedly head of the family. Auntie Thandiwe should humbly report to him but he might consult her on some of the family issues if he so wishes. Ongafuniyo kayele.

    • Problem is that Zanu has taken over everything and everywhere,looking at it Thandie could be used as Sibangilizwe has been seen leaning towards “enemies of the state”

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