Former ZPRA fighters will on Saturday march in honour of their former Commander in Chief, Dr Joshua Nkomo.
Popularly known as Father Zimbabwe, Nkomo died on July 1, 1999, at the age of 82 after a long battle with prostate cancer.
At the time of his death, Nkomo was Zimbabwe’s Vice President.
His death marked the fall of an iconic revolutionary, and visionary in Zimbabwe’s politics and beyond.
“On this day, Zimbabwe and Africa at large lost a freedom fighter, a liberator and a champion of peace and conflict transformation. ZPRA veterans who fought for peace under the leadership of Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo still mourn the passing away of the great Commander in Chief,” said Petros Sibanda, Secretary-General of the ZPRA Veterans Association in an interview with CITE.
Sibanda said to honour Nkomo’s legacy, ZPRA veterans would hold a march from Masotsha Avenue along Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Street to his statue, where messages would be delivered.
“This commemoration march will be the first of its kind since Dr Nkomo passed away 23 years ago. Usually, programmes to commemorate Dr Nkomo were for some time run by the Joshua Mqabuko Trust, which may be due to resources stopped commemorating that day. But we as ZPRA veterans and the entire nation, feel we should honour him, his vision, revolutionary ideals and objective of the revolution struggle,” he said, noting they had received permission from authorities.
“People from all walks of life, who are free on July 2, 2022, must converge at Masotsha Avenue at 10 am, then we will march along Joshua Mqabuko Street and head up to the statue in commemoration of that day. That’s how we want to recognise that day and honour our Commander in Chief.”
The ex-ZPRA cadre added that it was time authorities declared July 1, a national holiday to honour ‘Father Zimbabwe,’ who was a champion of peace and unity.
“July 1, is a day that we ZPRA veterans and the nation at large hope to see declared a national public holiday by authorities. This will auger well with the spirits of the country and it is right that we do recognise the role played by our Commander in Chief, Dr Joshua Nkomo,” Sibanda said.