By Jeffrey Muvundusi and Tendayi Madhomu
The family of the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo has described government as a “dead donkey” accusing it of delaying the erection of a statue in the capital honouring the former liberation struggle stalwart.
The much-loved Nkomo who died on July 1, 1999 had a statue built in Bulawayo as well as having a road and airport named after him in the same city.
However, his family is miffed by what it said were “inexplicable” delays in constructing another statue in the capital city, despite a commitment to do so by the then president Robert Mugabe’s government.
“No information about that project so far…there is no progress on plans to erect the late vice president’s statue in Harare.
“There is no communication whatsoever from anyone, particularly from government.
“The wheels of this government grind slowly. We need to go forward on a lot of current issues,” Nkomo’s son Sibangilizwe told the Daily News.
“Unfortunately, a dead donkey will not take us anywhere. The current political situation is not favourable. Everyone is not happy with this current administration.
“I doubt it very much that the current government is better (than the Mugabe administration)… it has not done anything to honour the late vice president,” Sibangilizwe railed.
In 2011, the Mugabe-led government said it had plans to build a statue at Karigamombe Centre but it was stopped by the Nkomo family and other critics who felt the choice of the venue was “inappropriate”.
Karigamombe when loosely translated means one who brings down the bull or cow.
Incidentally, PF Zapu which Nkomo led before signing a unity accord with Zanu PF in December 1987 used a bull as its party symbol while his own surname means cows in SiNdebele.
Civic groups were also not happy with the plans after it emerged that government had wanted North Koreans to build the statue.
North Korea trained members of the 5th Brigade, a specialised army unit accused of killing more than 20 000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands during the Gukurahundi era in the early and mid-1980s.
Government honoured the late liberation icon with a “life-size” statue in Bulawayo which was unveiled in December 2013
Yesterday, the Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government of lacking political will to erect Nkomo’s statue in the capital.
“There is lack of political will and perpetuation of a tribal narrative that’s always been Zanu PF’s ideological foundation.
“Zanu PF cannot allow them to expose the people of the northern side of Zimbabwe to Nkomo’s legacy because Mugabe mischievously gave a misleading narrative of who Nkomo was.
“All Zanu PF pretenders are afraid of being dwarfed by the towering legacy of … Nkomo both as a liberation hero and a nationalist leader.
“That’s the same reason the Zanu PF government has sabotaged the Ekusileni Medical Centre,” said Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa.
“By erecting the statue in Harare more and more Zimbabweans will dig into history and discover who Nkomo really was and the tribal dictators in Harare can’t afford that as it will expose their lies being taught in schools disguised as history,” he added. DailyNews