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Joshua Nkomo is remembered in diverse forms fairly and unfairly

08 Sep 2020 at 19:54hrs | Views
In year 1980, Joshua Nkomo was the most hated persona in Zimbabwe's Mashonaland and some parts of Midlands. The first elections were so toxic, a tribal card was key to get most of the people vote for Zanu. I want to believe that the elections were tilted in favour of Zanu PF and they won the elections. As if its not enough, Mugabe wanted Nkomo eliminated and the sound and fury coming from Harare was that Nkomo was a cobra in the house whose head must be cut. The rest is history, Nkomo left Zimbabwe for Botswana wearing a dress, leaving a country he fought for all his life. Curiously, Nkomo was given a tip by Enos Nkala to leave Zimbabwe because he was going to be murdered: said Nkala.

Its 40 years of Zanu PF misrule and the country is in a total mess. Most of the failures Zanu is making are prophesies that Nkomo made just after independence. He cautioned Zanu for their misplaced priorities: instead of taking over from where Smith left and assist the country to heal from the pain of war, Mugabe was itching to revenge. His convoluted life history does not show clarity what exactly he wanted to revenge: how many times have we read that he came from Nyasaland and is not Zimbabwean. Gukurahundi was to revenge past atrocities committed in 1853 by Mzilikazi and his Nguni tribe.

My article today is more to highlight how Joshua Nkomo's name is bastardized left right and centre by those to love and hate Joshua and Zapu at the same time. Israel Dube wrote an unfortunate article today whose content, spot-on, was a packed with information valid to us on the receiving side of Zimbabwe politics. For the first time, Israel forgot to curse us women from this region and he went straight to the point. (please Bulawayo24: Chiwenga is Joshua Nkomo of Mashonaland) his article omits much awaited comparisons completely of Joshua and Chiwenga but accurately dwells on tribal purges in Mashonaland today.

I find it unfortunate to see young people from this region of Matabeleland abusing the name of Joshua Nkomo without any scruple. It is these young people who have never been to war, they have no idea what armed struggle is. Sure, one of them was in the struggle but we are told by the Zipra commanders that HE absconded from the battle front for Angola where it was safe; but was needed most in the battle front. We are now taking orders from these young people; at best, known cowards: they are telling us what is to be done in this region. Siwela's MLO demands 100 billion US dollars from Zanu PF government as Gukurahundi reparations. This is legally not be possible and again these young minds should know that there is no treasury that can afford reparations of this magnitude.  

Joshua Nkomo, left a lot of written information we can use to argue that he was a politician who had good intentions for this great country. The last letter he wrote Robert Mugabe on the 7th of June 1983 stands out, all that he said in that letter is what we are going through as a nation so divided, at its knees: The last paragraphs of Nkomo's letter to Mugabe I quote as follows:  
"117. Remember, Prime Minister, Zimbabwe and the people must defend the country from these enemies. But today Zimbabwe is defenceless because the people live in fear, not of these enemies, but of their own government. What has happened to the brave and determined, confident and fearless people of Zimbabwe and their soldiers of liberation, who showed the world that no power on earth could prevent us from achieving our freedom? That was a time when even our enemies had to admire us for our courage and determination. Today our enemies laugh at us. What they see is a divided, confused, and frightened people, led by a divided, confused, and frightened government.

Government which has the love, respect and confidence of the people does not have to use the laws and weapons of colonial regimes to protect itself. The people themselves will protect their government if they have full trust in it. Fear is a weapon of despair, used by those who fear the people. This is the time and opportunity to rebuild trust, find the solution to our problems and defend the country as a united people. Yours sincerely, Joshua M. Nkomo" he wrote.

In Mashonaland today There are elements who want to reduce Joshua Nkomo and Zapu PF to the same standards as Zanu PF. How many times have we heard statements, unfounded and uncalled for: "if Zapu got the vote in 1980 it was going to make Zimbabwe a one-party state"? Such utterances are not only mischievous but rude and tribalistic. It is painful to most Shona people that Joshua Nkomo could have been a better leader of the first republic than Mugabe. Evidently, and without doubt Mugabe and Zanu PF failed to rule this country to the satisfaction of ruzhinji rwacho.(majority) It is painful for those who voted Zanu PF in 1980 to realize that the much-preferred leader of the first republic is now devouring its own children. It is not Ndebele people alone who suffer mass persecutions, abductions, killings, and mass incarcerations but all of us we are vulnerable citizens wholly at the mercy of Mnangagwa and Zanu PF.   
 
For some of us who were in Zambia during the war ask ourselves if the struggle was worth it. Thousands of people perished in the war of liberation: We saw the commitment of all those who took part in the liberation struggle that was selfless: had one mission in common: was to liberate Zimbabwe. But painfully we realize that a few enjoy the fruits of independence today. We are in foreign countries because there is no room for us in our own country of birth. Those at home: there is no black government to talk about but destitution and abject poverty smelling at every corner of this country. People are now talking loudly that if Ian Douglas Smith had ruled beyond 1980. In desperate situation we wish the unimaginable: a white rule was better!  Today, children in thousands are in the streets, no hope for the future: armed gang crimes are a signal of what is to come. Soldiers and the police are poor and hungry, it is a question of time they realize that they need to be working together with the people to remove this rot of a regime that tis devouring its children. This is a regime that has sunk so low as to abduct young girls Mamombe et al broad day light subject them to atrocities unheard of in history of mankind- feed them with faeces and forcing them to drink their own urine: they then turn around and tell the world they abducted themselves: prosecute them using falsehood statements without a single strand of shame.

All that is happening in Zimbabwe today, Joshua Nkomo saw this coming long back in 1983. But the euphory of independence blinded most people to see through the genocide activities in Matabeleland in 1983 until 1987. Instead, most people were in line with Mugabe' fury; they demanded that Joshua Nkomo must be hanged publicly just for the joy of revenging a long standing grudge of two centuries ago.

This government of Zanu PF under Mnangagwa is so fragile, it can collapse anytime leaving a power vacuum that can destabilize the region for an unspecified period. The Matabeleland people are called to join hands and remove the Zanu PF government from power. We did not vote for this monster in 1980 for goodness sake. In retrospect, we have been on the receiving end since independence. We cannot be asked to sacrifice once more to remove a monster who committed atrocities of genocide nature. What moral obligation, power and stamina do we have to stand up against Zanu PF yet again. How is the power matrix going to be like after the defeat of Zanu and its government? I quote the timeless letter written by Joshua Nkomo to Robert Mugabe why I refuse kuitiswa (used) yet again:

"53. In retrospect, I now believe that I and ZAPU were deceived and cheated by you and your party when you talked of unity, reconciliation, peace, and security. I now honestly and sincerely believe that when you invited us to take part in your government you believed that we would reject your offer and set ourselves up in strong opposition to you and thereby label us disgruntled rejected plotters.

54. I can now see that your insistence on establishing assembly camps in Bulawayo and Harare, and of your Ministers Nkala and others coming to Bulawayo to make inflammatory statements which sparked off the first Ntumbane incident, was all part of a plan and strategy to destabilize the country, especially the Western Province of Matabeleland, so that you could use incidents there as an excuse for using military action to crush me and my party.

55. It is now obvious to me that when you demoted me from the Ministry of Home Affairs which you knew was negotiated for a purpose at the time you invited us to take part in your government; that while you knew that we felt it was necessary for us to take part in one of the security ministries (Defence or Home Affairs) so that the former ZIPRA men drafted into the ZNA and ZRP may feel confident, thereby solidify both the army and the police, you deliberately took that action. It is clear you wanted us to pull out of your government at that time so as to destabilize the army and the police, create dissidents out of the deserting ZIPRA men and then call us plotters against your government.

56. It is clear you thought you had struck a political bonanza by the arms caches fiasco and you handled it the way you did, to achieve the following: To make the country believe that I and ZAPU wanted to overthrow your government.

That the world at large should view us as a group of people who had lost the elections and now wanted to wrest power from you and your government.

To polarize the population into bad guys and good guys and so destabilize the country.
To polarize the former ZIPRA and ZANLA combatants both inside and outside the army and police, to create a former ZIPRA grouping to be labelled dissidents.

To create within ZAPU a group that would believe there was a group within the party, that in fact, was plotting to overthrow the government." Joshua Nkomo wrote.

The people of Mashonaland remember Nkomo in reverence and respect today. They realize they lost a golden chance in a leader like Josh.

That said: MDC-Alliance is a tribal party and should never be trusted in the takeover of power: it shows all signs of tribal purges and organisational mismanagement before they are even in power. Joshua Nkomo warned the nation of Zimbabwe for voting on tribal lines. We warn you once more for voting Chamisa on tribal lines. We shall not be alive then to say we warned you. This young man Chamisa shows all signs of tribal hatred and be careful. Nkomo's wisdom of incorporating ethnic leadership in Zapu had the nation building in mind and not ethnic divide in the second Millennium. Curiously, new generation have bought massively into tribal divide and will never accept a leader from Matabeleland. This is how toxic Zanu government rule has been since 1980: teaching younger generation of Chamisa about tribalism.  


Source - Nomazulu Thata
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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