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Joshua Nkomo's son hits back at Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter
06 Sep 2015 at 10:51hrs | Views
THE late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo's son Sibangilizwe Nkomo yesterday reacted angrily to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa's claims that his father lost the 1980 elections to President Robert Mugabe because he represented white minority interests.

Mnangagwa recently told the New African magazine that the former late Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith at one time confided in him and Mugabe that Nkomo and Zanu founder, Ndabaningi Sithole lost the elections because they were not principled and did not represent black interests.

The VP claimed Smith made the disparaging remarks about Nkomo at a meeting in Mt Pleasant,Harare, held at the behest of Mugabe soon after assuming power.

Mnangagwa was Mugabe's chief of security then. Sibangilizwe hit back at Mnangagwa's allegations, saying his father, one of the pioneers of the liberation movements that eventually won independence for the country, "could not have had the name Father Zimbabwe" if he was a sell-out.

He said he initially had decided to keep quiet in order not to "dignify those awful comments with a response," but had later decided to put the record straight and defend the dignity of his father.

"VP Mnangagwa's statements are retrogressive and are not constructive," Sibangilizwe said.

"He wants to take away the dignity and respect of Father Zimbabwe.

"The name Father Zimbabwe cannot be given to sell-outs, it shows his role as a nation builder.It is shocking for someone to call him a sell-out when the nation knows he was a nation-builder."

He said his father's love for peace averted a post-colonial political crisis in Zimbabwe that could have engulfed the whole region.

Sibangilizwe said for anyone to call Nkomo a sell-out was very cruel.

He said: "Instead of saying Nkomo was a sell-out, look at the role he played in restraining his soldiers from fighting in the 1980s.

"If Nkomo did not want peace, a major disaster would have happened, as South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia would have been dragged into Zimbabwe's fighting and the whole region would have been on fire."

Higher Education minister and Zanu-PF secretary for science and technology, Jonathan Moyo also fired a broadside at Mnangagwa.

"The innuendo that the late VP Nkomo was a sell-out like [Chief] Chirau is offensive and unacceptable," Moyo tweeted on Friday.

Source - The Standard

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