Today marked the 20th Anniversary since the passing on of one of Zimbabwe’s founding fathers, the late Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, who succumbed to cancer on the first of July 1999.
Mdalawethu, as he was affectionately known, led the political outfit, Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) which oversaw its military wing, ZIPRA in a protracted liberation war that led to the country’s independence in 1980.
Post-Independence, the late father Zimbabwe was instrumental in unifying the country following gruesome disturbances that had occurred in the southern parts of the country, which were known as the Gukurahundi massacres.
The Unity Accord of December 22, 1987 signed between him and then Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe became the cornerstone to unity in the country and is still celebrated up to this day.
Prior to the unity accord, Dr Nkomo served as minister of Home Affairs before fleeing under threat from the Mugabe regime during Gukurahundi era and subsequently becoming Vice President of the Republic from 1987 until the time of his death.
He was declared a National Hero and is buried at the National heroes Acres in Harare.
But it is a painful life that he lived which many close to him like the late national hero, Skhanyiso Ndlovu would say was “a regrettable life of contrasts,” that suffered for others to live pretty.
Today there was a march through the vast city dubbed “Legacy Walk” conducted in commemoration of Dr Nkomo’s life.
263Chat remembered this liberation war icon, and took time to establish public sentiment about the works and life of Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo on various social media platforms as the day marks 20 years since his passing on.
Mlondolozi Ndlovu wrote on Facebook:
“The best lesson came to me late in life. It’s that a people can gain independence and yet not be free”- Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. We will always remember you Nyogolo, Chibwechitedza, Father Zimbabwe. The struggle for equality continues! #July1
Ronald Roland Moyo also took to Facebook and jotted: A life worth celebrating and emulating, a history worth sharing with generations and generations to come. We are poorer without you Mqabuko kaNyongolo. Long live the legacy!
“Whenever Nkomo addressed the public, he never used the word ‘I’ it was always ‘We’ as people of Zimbabwe.
Lala ngokuthula Father Zimbabwe. #Leadership” Mlondolozi Ndlovu said on Facebook.
@Vamushongazw tweeted “We didn’t go to school for a week mourning this man in 1999,”
@Badoris2 wrote on tweeter “Who called him father Zimbabwe anyway? Because he was called a traitor and terrorist when he was alive, besides the majority believes otherwise,”
Jabulani Nkomo on Joshua Nkomo wrote on Facebook, “To have people at heart regardless of your tribe, character, origin, colour and creed and to be selfless,”