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Zanu-PF remembers Joshua Nkomo with Bulilima rally?

by Staff reporter
01 Jul 2023 at 08:01hrs | Views
THE Zanu-PF rally to be addressed by President Mnangagwa at Nyele Primary School in Bulilima District, Matebeleland South Province today is a celebration as it is the rolling out of the ruling party's massive campaign machinery ahead of the national elections on 23 August.

It is a celebration in that it coincides with the 24th anniversary of the death of former Vice-President and veteran nationalist Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, described by President Mnangagwa this week as "a doyen of African liberation, a gentle giant and a passionate nation-builder."

President Mnangagwa arrived in Bulawayo yesterday ahead of today's rally.

Dr Nkomo died on July 1, 1999 at the age of 82 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, receiving arguably the largest send-off at the national shrine.

The rally is also a show of force as the revolutionary party flexes its muscles and displays the best organisational skills, putting it ahead of other political parties contesting for power next month.

It comes a week after the ruling party launched its election campaign in Chipinge, Manicaland Province where President Mnangagwa addressed thousands of party supporters in what was interpreted as an emphatic statement by Zanu-PF in its quest to retain power.

Zanu-PF Matebeleland South provincial chairperson Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu told Saturday Chronicle yesterday that they were ready to receive the President.

He said after the rally, a music gala will be held in Matobo District in honour of Dr Nkomo .

"It's all systems go, we have organised about 200 buses to bring party members from around the province. We are also organising additional transport as we expect a bumper crowd for the rally," he said.

"You will know that the day coincides with the anniversary of the death of Dr Joshua Nkomo so the main musical gala will be held in Matobo after the rally while we will have some artistes to entertain crowds at the rally. It is a special day also in that we will be having the President interacting with the people, a leader with so much love and his working so hard for the benefit of the people."

Provincial Secretary for Administration Edgar Moyo said the holding of the rally on the anniversary of Dr Nkomo's death was an honour for the province.

"It is an honour of the legacy of Dr Nkomo and an honour to Matebeleland South as a province. Dr Nkomo was a unifier and the commemoration of his death coming on the eve of the elections should be a reminder that we must not forget the sacrifices of our liberators and what they fought for," said Moyo.

"Dr Nkomo sacrificed a lot for the freedom of our country and this rally should not only be a reminder but a rejuvenation of the revolutionary spirit of our forbearers. Remember, this is not a rally for a district but for the entire Matebeleland South province."

The last PF-Zapu Matebeleland South chairperson, Richard Ndlovu, now a Politburo member in the ruling party, feels the holding of today's rally is a special coincidence.

"I think the timing is special in that we hold the rally at the home province of Dr Joshua Nkomo right on the day we mark 24 years since his death. It is a special way of honouring him.

We have also gone as far as holding the music gala in Maphisa, in Matobo/Kezi the district of his birth so after the rally everyone moves to Matobo for the gala," said Ndlovu a former Bulilima-Mangwe legislator.

Besides the celebration of Dr Nkomo's anniversary, Bulilima District produced some of the country's luminaries like the national heroes, George Silundika, Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu, Stanley Gagisa Nleya, the last Deputy Commander of ZPRA, Brigadier-General Tlije Dubhu Nleya who lives in Bulawayo.

Matebeleland South as a province also produced steadfast nationalists such as Cdes Sikhwili Khohli Moyo, Simon Khaya Moyo, General Lookout Mafela Masuku, Boysen Mguni, Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, Jason Ziyapapa Moyo and Tafi Moyo. The ruling party's Vice-President Kembo Dugish Mohadi is also a son of Matebeleland South.

In his statement to mark the anniversary of Dr Nkomo, President Mnangagwa said the late Vice-President was a selfless, fearless and committed fighter who preached love, unity, peace, hard work and sacrifice.

"Today, 1st July, 2023, our great nation, including our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, joins the Nkomo family in remembering the late National hero, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, on the 24th anniversary of his death.

"Dr Joshua Nkomo served as Vice-President of the Republic of Zimbabwe from 1987 until his untimely demise on 1st July, 1999," said President Mnangagwa.

"The late former Vice President, affectionately known as "Chibwechitedza", "Umdala Wethu", "Father Zimbabwe", was a trade unionist, a revered nationalist and a Pan-African freedom fighter who committed his entire adult life to the decolonisation and emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe.

"The memories of this doyen of African liberation, a gentle giant and a passionate nation-builder, shall forever be etched in our hearts."

President Mnangagwa said Father Zimbabwe will be remembered as a colossal political figure who, together with his compatriots, gallantly fought and defeated racial injustice, oppression and servitude.

The President said despite prolonged political incarceration, Dr Nkomo never compromised on his revolutionary ideals

"He belonged to an early crop of trade unionists who spurned subtle politics for a full-fledged armed struggle in seeking to liberate their motherland," he said.

"Father Zimbabwe left a huge footprint on the Zimbabwean political landscape, an enduring legacy of peace and the lofty values of Unhu/Ubuntu."

Source - The Chronicle