Joshua Nkomo ‘Turning In His Grave’ As Zim Crisis Worsens: Zapu

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

ZAPU Thursday commemorated the death of its founding leader and Zimbabwe’s Vice president Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo noting the late nationalist was “turning in his grave” as Zimbabwe’s political and economic crises continued to worsen.

Nkomo died on July 1, 1999, after a long battle with prostate cancer, and at the time of his death he was Zimbabwe’s Vice President.

However, Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said the late Father Zimbabwe, as Nkomo was affectionately known, must be turning in his grave because of the direction in which the country is taking.

“For all intents and purposes, President Nkomo would have never allowed the degeneration that we witness under the violent, intolerant and economically bankrupt military regime in Zimbabwe where human rights are not observed, constitution is disregarded, state institutions are captured, and corruption is the order of the day. All these with absolute impunity,” he said.

“As we commemorate Dr. Nkomo, let us all relive his values and we could, with little effort of our own, together live the African and Zimbabwean dream the way he imagined it.”

Maphosa went on to describe the late veteran nationalist as a rare breed of leadership in Africa and the world.

He said Nkomo spent most of his time, during the liberation struggle for an independent Zimbabwe, making peace-building efforts and finding peaceful ways of resolving conflicts in the then Rhodesia.

“After solving the colonial question in 1980, as he anticipated the beginning of Zimbabwe’s development agenda, antagonistic forces were soon up against him and everything he stood for,” he said.

“However, despite the available variety of choices to respond, President Nkomo again chose the narrow and lone path of peaceful resolution to conflict, displaying once again the rarest attributes of leadership in him.

“Here was a man who passed the test and was a champion in the development agenda of this country. He abhorred corruption, just as he abhorred violence.”

Maphosa said commemorating Nkomo’s 22nd anniversary after his death was important as it came almost a week after the death of Zambia’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda who died at Maina Soko Medical Centre in Lusaka, Zambia where he was being treated for pneumonia.

Kaunda’s government hosted several liberation movements across the region including Zapu’s military wing, the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA).

Besides hosting liberation armies, Zambia, under Kaunda, also provided diplomatic and political support to liberation movements.

“Today, we also remember and reflect back on the relationship between President Nkomo of Zapu and President Kaunda of Zambia. The two men had one thing in common.

“Both had open disdain for violence of any nature. As we celebrate the lives of these legends and appreciate the benefits the relationship between them to Zimbabwe, we are, however, saddened by the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe,” added Maphosa.