Late vice president Joshua Nkomo’s
son, Sibangilizwe Nkomo, has said politicians have lost their way unlike
his father who united Zimbabweans across the political divide during
and after the liberation struggle.
Affectionately known as Father Zimbabwe, the late vice president was instrumental in the signing of the 1987 Unity Accord between ZANU-PF and ZAPU, which ended years of political instability in the Matabeleland and the Midlands regions.
He died 17 years ago on July 1, 1999 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.The former ZAPU leader is remembered every year on July 1.His family has since made a request to government to have the day declared a national holiday.
This year’s commemorations were held at Stanley Square in Makokoba where people from all walks of life were in attendance.
Nkomo took the occasion to draw parallels between his father and politicians of today.
He said while his father had lived an exemplary life, today’s politicians seemed to have lost it and were at odds with what the nationalist had stood for.
“He was building this nation without tribal or racial discrimination and he led his party, as his own family…I never heard on a single day, my father and those who were following him fighting in public, but today I am very sad with modern day politicians. They fight and insult one another in public,” he said.
Infighting, which cuts across the country’s political parties, has seen politicians attacking one another especially in the media.
The nationalist’s son said today’s youths were not an exception either as they also insulted their elders in public, against the spirit of peace and unity espoused by Nkomo.
Recently, Acie Lumumba insulted President Robert Mugabe using unprintable words while launching his party, Viva Zimbabwe, in Harare.
“My father never did that and he did not like it; my father would build the nation as one united country. My father never divided the people. My father Joshua Nkomo left us the beauty of unity and love,” he said.
Zimbabwe People First interim national chairman for the information and publicity sub-committee, Methuseli Moyo said Joshua Nkomo was in a class of his own and had no equal during his generation.
“We have been dwarfed by Nkomo’s spirit of love, nationalism and anti-racialism,” said Moyo.
“However, Nkomo continues to be an inspiration to us young politicians, though most of us have been drawn into the politics of hatred that we grew under in the last 36 years of ZANU-PF’s rule.”
ZAPU alternate secretary-general, Strike Mkandla, said while it was true that some politicians insult each other in public, there were still a few who were exemplary.
Welshman Ncube-led Movement for Democratic Change’s deputy national spokesperson, Mbuso Siso, said there were few politicians in Zimbabwe who could match Nkomo’s standards.
“ZANU-PF politicians today stand as a clear illustration of how standards and conduct among politicians have gone down,” he said. financial gazette