Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Joshua Nkomo Cultural Movement (JNCM) has appealed to the Government to erect a statue of Father Zimbabwe, the late Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo, in Harare.
JNCM chairperson and son to Dr Nkomo, Mr Sibangilizwe Nkomo, said the organisation and family understands that the statue had already been carved.
The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) in 2014 revealed that Government was working on erecting Dr Nkomo’s statue in the capital.
In December 2013, the Government unveiled Dr Nkomo’s statue in Bulawayo.
Mr Nkomo said it was his hope that their request would be acted upon.
“We also requested Government to erect a statue in the capital. We understand the statue is available,” said Mr Nkomo.
He said the organisation has already partnered the Government in wrapping up Joshua Nkomo Centenary celebrations.
Mr Nkomo said a senior Government official is expected to deliver a guest lecture at the Zimbabwe Defence University on the role of the army in nation building as part of the celebrations.
The centenary commemorations have been running under the theme: “A Reflection of Ethical leadership.”
“Government has agreed to work with us on the events that we have proposed. Preparations are now at an advanced stage for the commemorations to take place. The commemorations will start on June 7, which is the birthday of Father Zimbabwe. On that day we are going to have a guest lecture at the Zimbabwe Defence University,” said Mr Nkomo.
Dr Nkomo would have turned 100 years last year having been born in 1917.
Mr Nkomo said the JNCM would also hold a dinner dance on June 8 before capping the events with a soccer match pitting Highlanders and Dynamos on June 9.
“We are grateful that the Government agreed to join us in our quest to celebrate our icon. It is our understanding that the lecture will be given by a top Government official,” he said.
Mr Nkomo said Government also made a commitment towards ensuring that Father Zimbabwe’s vision remains alive.
He said optimism had been raised in the family and its partners that Ekusileni Hospital will be opened soon with Government having shortlisted potential investors.
Mr Nkomo said it will be the first time the organisation will be holding Dr Nkomo’s commemorations outside Matabeleland region.
“We’re doing so in full realisation that umdala was a national leader. We have held many events in Matabeleland region and this year we decided to host the event in Harare,” he said.
Mr Nkomo said the family was still pursuing Father Zimbabwe’s values of promoting tolerance, peace and national unity.