THE Joshua Nkomo National Foundation (JNNF) has organised a memorial event for the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo next week, where it will also honour surviving and serving veterans of the liberation struggle.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
The memorial event, set for October 19, will be held at Nkomo’s residence in Matsheumhlope, Bulawayo, which has been turned into a museum.
JNNF projects manager, Jabulani Hadebe told Southern Eye the memorial event was necessary to highlight the “legacy and personal sacrifice bequeathed to Zimbabwe by this great champion of Zimbabwe’s nationalist movement”.
“In 1998, veterans of our liberation struggle visited Father Zimbabwe at his residence and handed him a leopard skin and conferred him the status of hero of heroes,” he said.
“The veterans of our liberation struggle have not visited the residence of Umdala Wethu ever since his passing-away on July 1, 1999.
“It is for the aforementioned reason that the foundation would like to bring on board veterans of our liberation struggle, including serving veterans, to attend an event to remember General Josh.”
Hadebe said ex-combatants from across the political divide had been invited.
Nkomo, who was born on June 7, 1917 and died on July 1, 1999 at the age of 82, would have turned 100 this year.
The JNNF and the Joshua Nkomo Cultural Foundation have organised several centenary celebrations to honour the late Vice-President.
The events run up to June 2018.
Some of the events are sponsored by South Africa-based Zimbabwean businessman, Justice Maphosa, who runs Big Time Strategic Group, Tapela Incorporated Development Practitioners and Cradles of Influence Communications.
Hadebe said they deliberately chose October 19, as they will also be remembering ex-combatants, who were bombed at Freedom Camp and Mkushi transit camp in Zambia on that day in 1978.
“The date coincides with the bombing of Freedom Camp and Mkushi transit camp in Zambia on October 19, 1978,” he said.
“It is a day we will also remember those who sacrificed their lives for something bigger than themselves.
“A day when we honour the surviving veterans, the departed and also remember their achievements, their courage and their dedication and to say thank you for their sacrifices.”