Sibangilizwe Nkomo, the son of the late former Vice President Joshua Nkomo, has decried how his father’s legacy has been dented by mischievous elements within the State who over the years have sought to paint him as a ‘failed statesman.’
This misconception, Nkomo said, has sadly been passed down to the younger generation, who have been subjected to lies about the late nationalist.
Nkomo shared these sentiments on a discussion to commemorate the life of Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo in a twitter space hosted by CITE on Friday, July 1.
“Joshua Nkomo generated debates and arguments because of what he did in hindsight, people are now labelling him as a failed statesman. The younger generation has been taught a lot of lies and misinformation,” he said, adding that:
“Over the years, Joshua Nkomo’s legacy has been assaulted, has been under fire from enemies and we know who they are.”
Nkomo said this in reference to critics who have criticised the former vice president’s move to sign the Unity Accord Agreement in 1987 in order to end the genocide that had ravaged ZAPU supporters, including people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
“So, the younger generation is now trying to rewrite history, which is very unfortunate because of individuals who have always made it their business, right from the beginning of the struggle to try and crush Nkomo for what he stood for, believed in and what he perceived to be right for his country and nation.”
Nkomo, who now leads the opposition ZAPU party, taking over from his father, who was the founding president, described him as one of Africa’s finest sons.
He noted Dr Nkomo was in the league of other great nationalists such as Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, Nelson Mandela, Sir Seretse Khama among others.
“He was a dedicated man who dedicated all his life to making sure that Zimbabwe and people in Africa were freed from colonialism and oppression. Dr Nkomo worked selflessly for the liberation of Zimbabwe over a period of 50 years. He made sure we were freed from colonialism, oppression from a minority regime that had oppressed people for more than 90 years,” said the ZAPU leader.
“Dr Joshua Nkomo was a father to all Zimbabweans, not just to his family. That is why he aptly gained the title Father Zimbabwe due to the way he handled the nation.”
Despite Dr Nkomo’s death two decades ago, scholars and academics are still writing books, theses and articles dedicated to him.
“It has been over 20 years since the old man has been gone but it’s like he only passed away a few years ago and sometimes we feel as if he is with us today because of the love he had for his people,” Nkomo said.
The ZAPU leader added the late nationalist was one of the most selfless leaders Zimbabwe has ever seen.
“He was one of the most dedicated, non-racial and non-tribalistic leader who worked hard to bring together the nation of Zimbabwe to be one. Something which we find wanting today in our leaders,” Nkomo remarked.
“Our leaders today cannot match what Dr Joshua Nkomo did for this nation, which was to bring the people of Zimbabwe together. Right from the start in the 1950s, people knew no tribe, knew no ethnicity in this country until those who I call enemies of the people came up with the divisionist ideologies that they still pursue up to day. It is unfortunate that today it seems what Dr Joshua Nkomo worked for is all lost.”