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Zipra demands public holiday for Joshua Nkomo

by Staff reporter
01 Jul 2022 at 07:28hrs | Views
THE Zipra War Veterans Association wants government to declare July 1 a public holiday to commemorate the death of the late former Vice-President and liberation struggle icon Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.

Today marks 23 years after Nkomo's death on July 1, 1999, and Zipra war veterans feel he must be remembered for his selfless sacrifices for the country's liberation from colonialists.

Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, Zipra War Veterans Association secretary general Petros Sibanda said: "We have realised in the 23 years after his passing on nothing is being done by the authorities to remember Nkomo. Nkomo was our Zipra commander in chief and as veterans we feel that we need to begin this programme to commemorate his death and educate our children and generations to come about the role he played for us to be independent, as well as the role he played towards the independence of other African countries.

"We have planned that on July 2 (tomorrow) we will meet at Masotsha avenue and march through the Joshua Nkomo street to his statue where revolutionary speeches will be made. There is only one Nkomo statue in Bulawayo, but his statues must be installed in all towns because Nkomo was a national leader. In Mashonaland they referred to him as Chibwechitedza. In Matabeleland South they called him Hamatsatsi, and in other areas he was called Umdalawethu. The late South African leader Nelson Mandela and the late Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda looked up to Nkomo as an elder.

"We realise that his works were great such that July 1 must be declared a Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Day or Father Zimbabwe Day. We also urge all combatants and political parties to attend the event."

Pre-independence, Nkomo led PF Zapu and its military wing Zipra. He then became Vice President to the late former President Robert Mugabe in 1987 after the two leaders signed the Unity Accord to unite and stop the mid-80s Gukurahundi civil strife.

Critics, however, describe the Unity Accord as flawed because it gave Zanu-PF more powers and virtually annihilated PF Zapu.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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