Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE teachings of Father Zimbabwe, the late Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo on tolerance and not spreading the gospel of hatred are still relevant in today’s politics, hence politicians should heed his message.
Director of the Joshua Nkomo Foundation, Mr Jabulani Hadebe, said this in light of recent political developments in the country that culminated in Cde Mugabe’s resignation as President of the country.
Borrowing from Father Zimbabwe’s book The Story of my Life that was published in 1985, Mr Hadebe said political leaders should tolerate divergent views.
“We are enveloped in the politics of hate. The amount of hate that is being preached today in this country is frightful. What Zimbabwe fought for was peace, progress, love, respect, justice equality, not the opposite,” he said quoting from Dr Nkomo’s book.
Mr Hadebe said people’s freedoms have been violated, while criticising political figures has been criminalised.
He said the violation of people’s rights is unwarranted in a free and democratic Zimbabwe.
“We have created fear in the minds of some in our country. We have made them feel unwanted, unsafe. No country can live by holding a series of rallies to denigrate others, ‘pasi (down with) this and pasi that.’ When you are ruling you should never say that to anyone. We cannot condemn other people and then do things even worse than they did. Some of you are tempted to give away principles in order to conform.
“Even the frightened preachers are frightened to speak freely and they have to hide behind the name of Jesus Christ. We cannot go on this way. People must be freed to speak. We invite the clergy to be outspoken to tell our leaders when they are wrong,” he said reading excerpts from the book.
He said corruption is still rife as Dr Nkomo bemoaned in his book.
Mr Hadebe said corruption has brought untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe as Father Zimbabwe noted.
“And one of the worst evils we see today is corruption. The country bleeds today because of corruption. There is something radically wrong with our country we were moving fast towards self-destruction. There is confusion and corruption and let us be clear about it,” said Mr Hadebe.
He commended the Zimbabwe Defence and Security Service for launching Operation Restore Legacy saying it has ensured that the liberation legacy is protected.
“Thank you again for carrying out your constitutional mandate of defending the people of Zimbabwe against internal aggression and instability engineered by counter revolutionaries who wanted to throw the legacy of our liberation struggle into the dustbin. Any failure to dedicate ourselves to the ideals of the liberation struggle will be a betrayal to all freedom fighters and those whose graves are not known,” said Mr Hadebe.
Meanwhile, Father Zimbabwe’s son Mr Sibangilizwe Nkomo said Cde Mugabe did an honourable thing by resigning.
He said the family was not surprised that the people of Bulawayo celebrated Cde Mugabe’s resignation at Joshua Nkomo Statue in the city saying people still have a connection with the liberation icon. – @nqotshili