By Innocent Nxumalo
IT is exactly 23 years after the demise of one of the country’s founding fathers, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, with Zimbabweans in agreement that Umdala Wethu’s legacy will be cherished forever.
On the first of July each year, the nation remembers the late giant nationalist, Dr Joshua Nkomo better known by his countryman as Father Zimbabwe.
Dr Nkomo’s political principles and Pan African values have immortalised him as an unmatched hero of the liberation struggle and a champion for national peace and reconciliation.
Big Josh’s personal aide, Cde Albert Nguluvhe, who is now Beitbridge-East Legislator, takes us down memory lane on the life of the late iconic political figure.
“The most aspect I observed when I served him was that he never held any grudges. He treated everyone fairly. To him there was no superior African and no wonder why he was given by people various names like Chibwechitedza. In ZAPU and ZIPRA three quarters of those in High Command were not from his region. You talk of the likes of Chinamano, Parirenyatwa, Musika, Jirira, Musarurwa, Mutinhiri and many more. He just envisaged a society with equitable distribution of national resources,” said Cde Nguluvhe.
For ZANU PF Vice President and Second Secretary, Cde Kembo Mohadi, Zimbabwe is indebted to Dr Nkomo for the legacy of peace, unity and empowerment through land redistribution.
“In his death bed before he passed on, Dr Nkomo told Former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, that people of Zimbabwe must remain united, that there must be peace, the land must be given to the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe. July the first is so important to the nation as we remember our icon, a loving father who helped build this nation and its important to recognise these because they are part of our nationhood. Dr Nkomo left us in unity under ZANU PF and no person can change that, unity was for all of us and things won’t change, yes there are those who claim to have their own ZAPU, it’s is not the one that was led by Dr Nkomo because it was a people’s party not a family affair so we remain where he left us in ZANU PF, which is our political home and it shall remain so and we will protect his legacy in ZANU PF,” said Cde Mohadi.
Even those born after the late “UMafukufuku” regard him highly as a great statesman whose work continues to impact generations.
“I read and listened narratives about Father Zimbabwe, I believe it is a blessing that we had him. His decisions indicate that he had a long vision, he thought about us, he thought about the future,” said a youth.
“I think as young people we need to celebrate the Big Josh more than those who lived with him because all he wanted was to secure our future,” said another young person.
The Matobo-born nationalist died at the age of 82 and his remains are interred at the National Heroes Acre.