By Staff Reporter
LATE Reverend and Zanu founder, Ndabaningi Sithole is set to be honoured with a foundation to be launched in his name on July 20 this year.
Former Kenyan Prime Minister and prominent opposition leader in that country, Raila Odinga is expected to be guest speaker during the Harare launch.
According to organisers, the foundation has been established to honour and perpetuate the legacy of Sithole as an advocate for African liberation, civil rights, democracy as well as social and economic development in Zimbabwe and Africa at large.
“The purpose of the Ndabaningi Sithole Foundation (NSF) is to promote and facilitate discourse on Zimbabwe liberation history both Chimurenga 1 and 2,” said the organisers in a statement.
They also say the foundation is expected to promote reconciliation, unity and national healing as well as promote social and economic development and prosperity in the country.
Organisers also said the initiative shall include the republishing of Ndabaningi Sithole`s 12 books, establishment of the late veteran’s African Research Centre and NSF scholarship in conjunction with University of Reading in United Kingdom.
The foundation will also establish a local university, civil society and thinktank engagement.
Some of the foundation trustees include Retired bishop Chad Gandiya (chairperson), former Senator Sekai Holland, Dr Easter Chagumira and ex-MP Jessie Fungai Majome.
Sithole, a towering figure in the history of Zimbabwe`s struggle, led the breakaway from Zapu in 1963 to form Zanu and was elected the founding president at the inaugural party congress in Gweru 1964.
He lost leadership of the party to the late former President Robert Mugabe during an internal rift after the two were released from prison in 1974.
Sithole went into self-imposed exile in Silver Spring Md in United States 1983, returning to Zimbabwe nine years later to re-enter the political arena.
He was elected a lawmaker for his tribal stronghold of Chipinge in eastern Zimbabwe in 1995.
He died from a heart ailment after spending two months in the United States for medical treatment in Philadelphia in December 2000.
His body was flown home and buried at a family farm in Mount Selinda, Chipinge after he was not accorded even the lowly provincial hero status despite his immerse contribution in the early stages of the country`s liberation war.