By Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
TWENTY-THREE years after the demise of Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described the late icon as a man who lived and sacrificed for the well-being of the nation.
On the 1st of July in 1999, the country lost one of its illustrious icons, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo who was fondly referred to as Father Zimbabwe.
23 years after his demise, the nation still remembers this iconic figure.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was recently in Bulawayo, spoke to ZBC News on Dr Nkomo’s legacy.
The President said just the name Father Zimbabwe speaks volumes about his character.
“Just the name father Zimbabwe already speaks volumes of who he was. He was the father of nationalism. It is the duty of us all to ensure we observe and commemorate his life, he lived for this country and today we are free. After independence Father Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe united us,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa said the nation should draw lessons of unity from icons like Father Zimbabwe.
“We must remember these icons and stay united. Zimbabwe is a unitary state so why should they be splinter groups,” he said.
Focusing on youths, President Mnangagwa said despite the modern world of information communication technology, they should endeavour to stay patriotic and loyal to their country.
“First and foremost, remain patriotic and proud to be Zimbabwean. In situations of suffering or glory remain loyal,” noted Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Father Zimbabwe has been described by many as a revolutionary, a visionary, a luminary, a pan-Africanist, a unifier and a freedom fighter par excellence.
Today the nation stands proud to have fulfilled his wishes for unity “ukubambana” and the distribution of land to the black majority “umhlabathi ebantwini” that he fought so hard for.
Dr Nkomo served as the country’s Vice President from 1990 until his death in 1999 at the age of 82 after battling prostate cancer.