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The legacy of Umdala wethu, Dr Joshua Nkomo

30 Jun 2016 at 11:54hrs | Views
Hero status is not accorded  by anyone to anyone. It is earned. Good works speak for themselves and need  no Politburo comminique to endorse. This was even buttressed by Dr Joshua Nkomo after the death of  veteran nationalist Cde Lookout Masuku.

On the First of July 1999 the people of Zimbabwe lost a father, a leader and Vice President. Dr Nkomo was one one such a figure of towering integrity  and unparalled credibility. He  was a fountain of wisdom and an oasis of love.

Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo was one such a leader with foresight. Every effective leader must have foresight so as to be in a position  to surmount and negotiate any form of difficulty that might be encountered along the way. It is because of lack  of foresight that we find Zimbabwe engulfed by political and economic miasma. A miasma of claustrophobic proportions.

Reading a letter penned by the late Father Zimbabwe after the Gukurahundi debacle to the then Prime Minister RG Mugabe one can effortlessly detect that the issues he wanted to be addressed are still prevalent in the present day Zimbabwe. Issues to do with good governance, hate speech, peace and empowerment. Good governance is one of the most canvassed concerns  in the global village. One wonders why  ZANU PF seems to be allergic to good governance. Why the ZANU PF leadership  flagrantly flout the cardinal principles of good governance  and cry foul when the ripple effects manifest themselves economically. Why does the ZANU PF leadership frown upon hearing the word good governance. Why do they extol the virtues of nationalistic ideologies on the altar of good governance.                                                      
"You have stated publicly on several occasions that I have plotted, and continue to plot, to overthrow you and your government, that I have  conspired, and continue to conspire, with South Africa to do that, that I have organized and continue to organize dissident groups for the purpose of destabilizing the country and finally to overthrow you" wrote Dr Joshua Nkomo.

This was a passionate plea by Nkomo to the then PM, distancing himself and desperately refuting the spurious allegations that were being levelled against him of plotting to overthrow the government. This was after the discovery of the arms cache. Possibly it was still early for Dr Nkomo and the masses to understand the political modus operandi of ZANUPF which entail character assassination and projection of red herrings to advance devillish and diabolical political agendas.

Upon reading the letter by Nkomo one can come to terms with the fact that ZANU PF has a long history of political violence and duplicity, in fact political violence is the oxygen of the party. The history of the party is littered with a litany of violent episodes to capture and retain power and power alone. ZANU PF 's obsession  with conscipiracy theories dates back to eary 1980. They see shadows everywhere and their level of paranoia is sickening. This explains why almost every  political rival was charged with treason from  Dr Joshua  Nkomo, Lookout Masuku, Dumiso Dabengwa, Ndabaningi Sithole, Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti. Everyone who doesn't sing from the same  hymn with them is a traitor who deserve to be charged with treason. Such  is retrogressive intransigence. Politics ought  to be a theatre for osmosis of ideas and not a battlefield.

The people of Zimbabwe still yearn for the enjoyment of the fruits of Independence which include although not limited to legal protection. Laws are put in place to protect the masses, to thwart any possibility of Hobbesian State of nature where life will be "brutish,short and nasty". In his book "The story of my life" Dr Nkomo bemoaned the use of Law and Order Maintenance Act (LOMA) by the Mugabe led government. A draconian piece  of legislation  that was used by the colonial regime to paralyse the activities of liberation   movements and accampany the will of the people in the intensive care. The present day ZANU PF led government still has the penchant of using laws to achieve political ends, to supress and oppress which is an antithessis of the values of the liberation  struggle.

It's important for the youth of the day  to emulate the selfless sacrifices made by gallant nationalists like Dr Joshua Nkomo. He was neither a run off the mill politician nor a desktop revolutionary. He was in the  trenches with others. Yes historical achievements should not instill a sense of entitlement. Upon being invited to take up the post of ceremonial Presidency after the 1980 elections Dr Nkomo turned down the offer which i believe would have turned to  be a poisoned chalice. He wrote in his book, The Story of My Life: "For me, acceptance of the presidency would have meant retreating into an official prison, deprived of my right to speak my mind and take a lead on matters of great national importance. I had spent too much of my life in prisons for that to be attractive, or even possible. I was obliged to decline."

No amount of propaganda will trivialise the role played by Nkomo in ushering a news dispensation in Zimbabwe. Its foolhardy for anyone  to project an uncanny impression  that ZAPU  was more of a  fringe regional party. It's heartless for anyone to effusively shower melodious eulogies on Nkomo for the purposes of electioneering and wooing the vote from Matebeleland. The nation need to rekindle the values preached and propagated by Nkomo, unity, love and peace.

This is the man  who accepted an Olive branch from Robert Mugabe and signed the Unity Accord in 1987. He decided  to let bygones be bygones. How many of us  can let bygones be bygones after such years of bitter acrimony? They wanted to gain  political capital by appearing to be magnanimous. He wanted peace, harmony and solidarity. A man who would rather lose than let his people die. A rare quality of leadership.

Long live the spirit of Umdala Wethu!

Wilton Nyasha Machimbira, a Political Analyst.For feedback and comments can be contacted on

Source - Wilton Nyasha Machimbira
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