Nduduzo Tshuma, Assistant Editor
THE memory of the late veteran nationalist and one of the country’s founding fathers, Dr Joshua Nkomo, must be kept alive from generation to generation in honour of his contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking in an interview at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo on Monday ahead of today’s 23rd anniversary of the late Vice-President’s death, President Mnangagwa challenged the youths to draw inspiration from the liberation icon and be patriotic to their motherland.
Dr Nkomo died on July 1, 1999 at the age of 82 after a long battle with prostate cancer.
“The late Father Zimbabwe, the former Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, just the name Father Zimbabwe already speaks volumes as to who that person was, was the father of our nationalism in Zimbabwe from as early as the early 1950s. So, it is necessary that we keep his memory alive from generation to generation.
“It is the duty for us the leaders today to make sure that we observe and commemorate his life. Now, the first of July will be the twenty third anniversary of his death so we remember him for his contribution and sacrifice throughout his life, he lived for this country, he struggled for this country, he went to war for this country and today we are free,” said President Mnangagwa.
“There are people who initiated African nationalism in this country and Father Zimbabwe is one of those icons of our liberation struggle. It is therefore critically important that we continuously commemorate and remember him because he is the foundation of our nation.”
Detailing the history of the liberation struggle, President Mnangagwa said the country’s founding fathers were always bound by unity and love for the country that even after Zapu split in 1963 which saw the formation of Zanu, they found each other after Independence.
“After Independence Father Zimbabwe and our founding father, the late President Robert Mugabe united again the movements of Zapu and Zanu into one which is now Zanu-PF. So, you must also remember that these icons of our revolution teach us that it is critically important that we must remain united.
As a matter of fact, Zimbabwe is a unitary state, why should we then get splinter groups in a unitary state, that is the lesson that we get from these icons,” said the President.
He reminded the youth that despite the modern world of ICT, they remain Zimbabweans and must be loyal to their country as part of honouring the country’s forebears.
“First and foremost, they should remain loyal, patriotic and be proud of their country Zimbabwe. Whether in moments of glory or in moments of mourning, they must remain patriotic to their country. Whether in situations of suffering or in situations of plenty, they should remain patriotic to their country,” said President Mnangagwa.
“There are not two Zimbabwe Republics, its just one, its theirs. Either they uphold it, it would remain a proud nation respected worldwide, or they get divided because they are aspiring to be what they are not then they lose character.”