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Joshua Nkomo: A man of virtue

by Staff reporter
15 Aug 2017 at 06:37hrs | Views
ONE of the country's luminaries whom we celebrate today, the late nationalist and Vice President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo was tormented, but toiled and fought hard for the country to attain independence from British colonial rule.

The legacy that Chibwechitedza, as he was affectionately known, left is worth emulating. Indeed he is a cherished hero of the struggle.

He was a larger than life character, a leader who knew no tribe, colour or creed and a symbol of peace as he fought for equality.

The man left an indelible mark in the history of the country that when we talk of revolution, his name does not only feature prominently but without his name, Zimbabwe's history would not be complete.

Politicians across the political divide, religious groups, academics and the business community still sing praises of the life lived by Umdala Wethu.

Zanu-PF leadership in Masvingo described the late Vice President as a man of virtue who was principled and dedicated towards seeing total empowerment of all Zimbabweans regardless of region, language and religion.

Gutu Central MP Lovemore Matuke said Dr Nkomo stood for the black majority and wanted to see improvement of black people's lives to the same level of their white counterparts.

He said Dr Nkomo would embrace everyone irrespective of their social background or religion as he was a true nationalist.

"This was a man who brought unity and remained our torchbearer in all aspects of life. If we can all remember that he, together with President Mugabe, were the main architects of the 1987 Unity Accord. To be precise, the unity between Zanu and-PF-Zapu is his brainchild. We are elated to be associated with him because he lived a life many would strive to emulate.

"Father Zimbabwe brought unity, something we should cherish as a nation. Had it not been this man, we could have been plunged into a lot of chaos and disharmony," said Matuke.

He said Dr Nkomo laid the foundation for the Third Chimurenga which was about land distribution and economic empowerment.

"The late Vice President was the founder of the revolution and he laid the foundation of land reform before many people appreciated the whole programme. Many people owe him much honour as they have occupied fertile land, something that was a preserve of the minority white settlers. In actual fact, he was the basis of the empowerment crusade. I urge the youth to learn through the life of this man not to sell the country to the West as Dr Nkomo and others did not get it on a silver platter," said Matuke.

Masvingo provincial war veterans chairman Tendeukai Chinooneka said it is hard for war veterans in Masvingo to forget about the late Dr Nkomo because of the legacy he left in the province.

"He was a great man. Some of us who went to war remember him for being part of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Zapu then later on Zanu-PF. He was a great man in the revolution and he used to raise our consciousness of the war. We remember him because of his spirit of equality where he called for the equal distribution of resources especially land," said Chinooneka.

He continued: "We remember this man because of his understanding of unity. We subscribe to his ideologies that remind us that we must defend the gains of independence. He was a fighter who brought the country back to its rightful owners. We should endeavour to repay him by guarding and protecting our sovereignty."

Apostolic Faith Mission Pastor Garcia Mundondo said churches in Masvingo were indebted to the late Vice President as he made freedom of worship possible.

"We are now enjoying freedom of worship because of the liberation that was brought by gallant sons and daughters that include Dr Nkomo. We knew this good man as a Christian, who subscribed to Christian values and we find happiness in that he made our praying activities possible. Without unity or liberation that we are enjoying today, it would be practically impossible for Christians to worship," said Pastor Mundondo.

He said Dr Nkomo, like Jesus Christ, made a lot sacrifices by leaving his family and going to war to defend his people instead of remaining at home fending for his family.

"Like Jesus, Dr Nkomo sacrificed his life and went to war leaving his family behind to save people of Zimbabwe from Ian Smith's oppression as what Jesus did when he saved people from Satan's oppression. He was a man of God, again like Jesus, he was called to save his people and as churches in Masvingo, we remember and cherish his works. His death is still fresh in our minds and hearts," said Pastor Mundondo.

A retired army captain and Zanu-PF senior member in Chiredzi, Captain Faster Gono said a number of people from Masvingo benefitted from initiatives spearheaded by Father Zimbabwe.

"A lot of black farmers along Mwenezi's Nuanetsi Ranch are accruing many benefits. He sacrificed his own personal interests for the good of the nation and he was not accustomed to blaming other people but he would quickly look for solutions on anything that would have gone wrong," said Capt Gono.

Masvingo Provincial Education Director Mr Zadius Chitiga said he felt humbled by the late Vice President's humility adding that he supported education in the country through setting up of scholarships.

"The history of education in this country would not be complete without the mention of this gallant nationalist. Today, a number of students from this region have benefited from Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Scholarship and that means his understanding of education spoke volumes. The scholarship is assisting a lot of people in and outside his region and that goes to show that he was a man of the people who loved everybody and above all had a passion for education. As the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, we are happy to be associated with this character and we will keep cherishing his selfless help in the world of academia," said Mr Chitiga.

The PED said he has learnt that in order for people to achieve success, there is need for them to remain dedicated to whatever they do.

"The late Vice President taught us that in order to achieve, we should be dedicated and people should not waste opportunities in life. They should work hard and achieve success. That is what he did. His works are there for all to see. The updated curriculum we are implementing today has the late Dr Nkomo's footprints through the emphasis of skills development as he had a bias on people who use their own hands to be productive.

"He might have died when we still needed his guidance but the truth is that he was a conqueror and education is where it is in Masvingo because of him," said Mr Chitiga.

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