Nkomo a rare breed of selfless leaders: President

02 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
Nkomo a rare breed of selfless leaders: President The late Vice President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo

The Herald

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

THE late Vice President and national hero, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, epitomised a rare breed of dedicated sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the country from colonial rule, President Mnangagwa has said.

In a statement released by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, on the 23rd anniversary of the death of the late icon, who was popularly known as “Father Zimbabwe”, yesterday, the President said Dr Nkomo’s unrelenting fight for human dignity and social justice won him international acclaim and an indelible place in African history.

Dr Nkomo died on July 1, 1999.

“The late Father Zimbabwe epitomised a rare breed of dedicated sons of the soil who sacrificed the comfort of private life for the liberation of their motherland from the yoke of colonial bondage,” President Mnangagwa said.

“His exploits dating back to the days of the African National Congress, through to the days of the National Democratic Party (NDP), the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), and, ultimately, the united ZANU PF, are well documented, and shall forever be imprinted in the history of our nation, the SADC sub-region, and of the African continent”.

President Mnangagwa said the late Vice President’s desire for the return of the country’s heritage — land — was well documented, and gave impetus to the historic Land Reform Programme, which followed barely a year after his demise.

“As the 42nd anniversary of Heroes Day on 8 August 2022 approaches, we shall continue to cherish the values that Dr Nkomo stood for, among them unity, freedom, peace, patriotism, non-racialism, Unhu/Ubuntu, honesty, and selfless dedication to national duty.

“The Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo Commendation Award for Community Development, Peace Building and for Fostering Unity, which was established in 2021, is Government’s initiative to immortalise the late Vice President’s unparalleled contribution to Zimbabwe’s nationhood, and to ensure that his legacy lives on,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said as the nation moves towards the attainment of Vision 2030, the foundational work of the great luminary continues to inspire and to enlighten the path the country is following.

“We shall always remember and cherish Dr Nkomo’s achievements and vision,” the President said.

In an interview this week, Zanu PF Vice President and Second Secretary, Cde Kembo Mohadi, who is one of the people who worked closely with the late Chibwe Chitedza during and after the liberation struggle, said Dr Nkomo fought for black economic empowerment and equal distribution of natural resources.

“The 1st of July is a very important day for us as we commemorate the death of Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, a man who played a critical role in uniting Zimbabweans,” said Cde Mohadi.

“On his deathbed, Dr Nkomo confided in the late former President Mugabe that his time was up and subsequently advised him to continue uniting Zimbabweans. Most importantly, Father Zimbabwe also reminded him (the late former President Robert Mugabe) about the need to correct the crooked land ownership issue.”

Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa was doing well in championing the upliftment of marginalised communities through robust economic transformation, which Dr Nkomo desired.

Having worked as a Minister of State in the Office of Vice President Joshua Nkomo, Dr Nyoni said she tapped immense wisdom from “Big Josh” as she was tasked to head the economic departments and learnt a lot under his guardianship.

“I went with him (Nkomo) to Italy where we sourced equipment to establish manufacturing plants. We are now talking about Muzarabani, Tsholotsho, Lupane and Nkayi where manufacturing plants were established and this is a result of his vision,” said the minister.

“Government is talking about the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project; it was part of his vision. There is a tomato processing plant in Norton, all these things are being implemented by the Second Republic and were part of his vision.”

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