By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE family of late former Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo has lambasted the Joshua Nkomo National Foundation (JNNF) for allegedly abusing and trying to gain political mileage through the name of the late revolutionary icon.
This comes after JNNF last week announced it was organising a political gathering (Inhloko) whose aim was to bring together President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
Said the late Nkomo’s elder son, Sibangilizwe in a hard hitting statement, “On behalf of the Joshua Nkomo family and the Nyongolo clan that I represent as head of the family, we have been following some disturbing events and developments where we have witnessed the abuse and political exploitation of our father and icon, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo’s name by some unscrupulous and dubious characters and individuals in the name of the Joshua Nkomo National Foundation to be specific.
“A gentleman by the name Mmillili Evans Tapela and his colleagues who allegedly claim that they have the blessings and approval of one of our family members and sister, Mrs Thandiwe-Ebrahim Nkomo in carrying on with their shenanigans that are not only meant to bring the good name of our late father into dispute, but selfish gains and sinister motives.”
The Nkomo family described the foundation’s Mnangagwa and Chamisa planned meeting as mischievous.
“We just learnt with shock that the same guys at the Joshua Nkomo National Foundation (JNNF) are up to their political mischief again and this time they have notched their game higher.
“There are on–going advertisements and media reports of a proposed Political Gathering (Inhloko) whose aim is said to be bringing together, His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to be hosted by the same (JNNF).
“We believe that this is not only misleading but irresponsible on their part and is again meant to soil the Joshua Nkomo name and legacy.
“Therefore, we would like to make it categorically clear as a family and the Nyongolo clan that we are very disappointed and disgusted by these development and would like to disassociate ourselves from activities and programmes of Joshua Nkomo National Foundation (JNNF) because of these unpleasant developments,” said Sibangilizwe.
The family also accused the foundation of hijacking a memorial lecture of the late struggle icon.
“The same people in the JNNF deliberately hijacked an on-going programme to use it as a platform to settle their political scores with government.
“This is contrary to the vision and objectives of establishing the annual Joshua Nkomo Lecture Academic Memorial Lecture Series which we have successfully run on four previous occasions,” said the family.
The much-loved Father Zimbabwe, as he was affectionately known among Zimbabweans, died in 1999 aged 82.
He remains one of the most revered struggle icons of the country’s second liberation war that eventually delivered independence from Britain in 1980.