‘Stop abusing Nkomo’s name’

The late former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo

ZAPU leader Sibangilizwe Nkomo has called on the ruling Zanu PF party and its proxies to stop abusing the late former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo's name through galas saying his father never participated at such night events.

Nkomo said holding vigils was never PF Zapu and its military wing Zipra’s culture.

He made the remarks during the launch of the Zapu election campaign at Stanley Square in Bulawayo on Saturday last week.

“I was appalled when some people came to me yesterday (Friday) saying they would be conducting a pungwe (gala) in Maphisa in honour of Father Zimbabwe.

“They said they will be holding it at St Joseph because they just know that Nkomo came from that area,” he said.

The Zapu leader added: “We must be careful with this. They called for a pungwe in Maphisa. This is not our culture to hold pungwes. I once stopped this during the late former President Robert Mugabe's time. I repeat it today, stop abusing Nkomo's name. Nkomo never danced at night.  We only heard of pungwes during the war from oPasi (Zanla).”

Nkomo said the all-night galas would leave litter in the Maphisa area.

Speaking at the same event, Zapu national chairperson Zobani Dlamini called on the ruling Zanu PF party to stop using funeral wakes of ex-Zipra and Zapu cadres as campaign platforms.

He said Zanu PF might hijack the funeral of the late former Zipra intelligence supremo Dumiso Dabengwa's widow Zodwa.

“We, Zapu, have respect for funerals and know how funerals are held. We now know that here in Zimbabwe we see Zanu PF salivating like a hyena seeing meat. We do not do such as Zapu. Zanu PF should excuse us so that we lay our mother in peace,” he said.

Dhlamini said the government granted her a State-assisted funeral.

“But I do not expect and wish that Zanu PF come to jostle with us over this matter since it’s campaigning time. We are not campaigning about Dabengwa’s death, we are mourning. Zanu PF must not come to campaign at the funeral,” he said.

Zapu spokesperson Mso Ndlovu said Zodwa’s body would arrive tomorrow for burial on Saturday.

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