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'Joshua Nkomo fought for black empowerment'

by Staff reporter
01 Jul 2022 at 07:20hrs | Views
AS Zimbabwe marks the 23rd anniversary of the death of Vice-President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, Zanu-PF Second Secretary Kembo Mohadi has urged the nation to cherish the values of unity, freedom and peace that he strived and stood for.

Dr Nkomo, one of the pioneers of the country's Second Umvukela/Chimurenga, succumbed to cancer on July 1, 1999 at the age of 82, and was interred at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

The fearless freedom fighter's demise plunged the entire nation into mourning, yet vivid memories of his love for the people and his sacrifice for unity and peace still linger.

Affectionately known as Father Zimbabwe for his role in pioneering the liberation struggle, Dr Nkomo was a rare breed of freedom fighters who sacrificed to free the country from colonial bondage.

He led successive nationalist movements that opposed racist settler rule in the then Rhodesia.

In an interview on Wednesday, Mohadi, one of the people who worked closely with the late Father Zimbabwe both during and after the liberation struggle, said Dr Nkomo fought for black economic empowerment and equal distribution of natural resources.

"The 1st of July is a very important day for us as we commemorate the death of Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, a man who played a critical role in uniting Zimbabweans," said Mohadi.

"On his deathbed, Dr Nkomo confided in the late former President Mugabe that his time was up and subsequently advised him to continue uniting Zimbabweans," he said.

"Most importantly, Father Zimbabwe also reminded him (Mugabe) about the need to correct the crooked land ownership issue."

Mohadi said the first part of Dr Nkomo's struggle of ensuring that the landless blacks were allocated land, has been fulfilled, adding that the challenge now is to ensure the land is put to good use.

"As we remember Dr Nkomo, we also urge our people to utilise this land productively in line with his vision. He would occasionally say the issue of land was the main reason why Zimbabwe's sons and daughters took up arms to fight the settler regime," he said.

Dr Nkomo always emphasised the need to be productive saying the land should sustain the livelihoods of all Zimbabweans.
During his lifetime, Dr Nkomo spoke passionately about the need to correct the skewed land ownership and at many fora he warned whites who wanted to continue clinging onto the land that they risked igniting another revolution.

More than 300 000 families have been allocated land in areas that used to be a preserve of white commercial farmers.

Mohadi said Father Zimbabwe was the champion of unity such that even at his death bed was preaching unity.

The ex-Zipra freedom fighter, said Dr Nkomo detested tribalism and regionalism.

"Dr Nkomo's wish was to see Zimbabweans of all races united and this desire for a united Zimbabwe saw him leading the then PF Zapu to sign the 1987 Unity Accord with Zanu-PF," he said.

"This unity between former PF-Zapu and Zanu was at his behest and for us former PF-Zapu cadres, Father Zimbabwe is the one who left us united and we continue clinging onto that unity," he said.

Mohadi said since the days of the liberation struggle, Zimbabweans have always been a united people.

"In fact, when the ANC was banned, the National Democratic Party (NDP) was formed and it got banned in 1961, Zapu was formed.

"So, clearly the December 22 Unity Accord was simply going back to the roots because as Zimbabweans we have always wanted one party," he said.

Mohadi said the successful implementation of the land reform programme is a true reflection that the country is on the right path to fulfilling Dr Nkomo's vision.

He said for Dr Nkomo's holistic vision of economically empowering Zimbabweans to be achieved, it was important to ensure that the country fully benefits from its natural resources besides land.

Source - The Chronicle