President Mnangagwa remembers VP Nkomo

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Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday said the government was implementing several initiatives to immortalise the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s unparalleled contribution to Zimbabwe’s nationhood.

He said this as he paid special tribute to the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo on the 23rd anniversary of his passing.

Affectionately known as Father Zimbabwe, the late Nkomo died on July 1, 1999 aged 82 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

In a statement, President Mnangagwa said VP Nkomo epitomized a rare breed of dedicated sons of the soil who sacrificed the comfort of private life for the liberation of Zimbabwe.

“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.

“As the nation moves towards the attainment of Vision 2030, the foundational work of this great luminary continues to inspire and to enlighten our path. We shall always remember and cherish Dr. Nkomo’s achievements and Vision.”

President Mnangagwa said VP Nkomo’s leadership qualities saw him play a significant role during the war of liberation and after independence.

“His exploits dating back to the days of the African National Congress, through to the days of the National Democratic Party, 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,” he said.

“Dr Nkomo’s unrelenting fight for human dignity and social justice won him international acclaim and an indelible place in African history. His fervency for the return of our principal heritage, land, is well documented, and gave impetus to the historic Land Reform Programme which followed barely a year after his demise.

“As the forty-second anniversary of Heroes Day on 8th 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.”

In a separate interview aired by state broadcaster, ZBC, President Mnangagwa said the moniker Father Zimbabwe aptly described the person VP Nkomo was.

“The name Father Zimbabwe already speaks volumes of who that person was. He was the father of our nationalism in Zimbabwe from as early as the early 50s so it is necessary that we keep his memory alive from generation to generation,” he said.

“It is a duty for us the leaders today to make sure that we observe and commemorate his life, his contribution and sacrifice throughout his life. He lived for this country, he struggled for this country, he went to war for this country and today we are free…

“Father Zimbabwe is one of those icons of our liberation struggle. It is therefore critically important that we continuously commemorate and remember him because he is the foundation of our nation.”

President Mnangagwa said the message of unity was one of VP Nkomo’s enduring lessons to Zimbabweans.

“After independence, Father Zimbabwe and our founding father the late President Robert Gabriel Mugabe united the (liberation war) movements, Zapu and Zanu into one which is now Zanu PF, so you must also remember that these icons of our revolution teach us that it is critically important that we must remain united. As a matter of fact, Zimbabwe is a unitary state. Why should we then have splinter groups in a unitary state? So that is the lesson we get from these icons,” he said.

To the youths, President Mnangagwa urged them to guard jealously the freedom fought for by the likes of the late VP.

“First and foremost, they should remain loyal, patriotic and be proud of their country Zimbabwe whether in moments of glory or in moments of mourning. They must remain patriotic about their country whether in situations of suffering or in situations of plenty. There are no two Zimbabwean Republics, there is just one and it is theirs, either they uphold it to remain a proud nation respected worldwide or they get divided because they are aspiring to be what they are not then they lose character.”
New Ziana

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