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Joshua Nkomo: A dream deferred but still attainable

01 Jul 2020 at 18:06hrs | Views
Joshua Nkomo, perhaps like many great men and women before him saw a dream for Zimbabwe, one that would have seen the country cross over from colonialism to the proverbial Jordan. Born in 1917 he dedicated his whole life to the freeing of our country, suffering greatly for a vision meant to benefit all.

Not only did Zimbabwe despise the vision that Joshua Nkomo espoused, but those who took over from the colonial meted out the most horrendous persecution on him. The ill-treatment he received from the new black rulers even exceeding than he had experienced under the white minority rule. This extended to the numerous attempts on Nkomo's life with the overt government instigated"hunt down and kill" order that was put out in the period 1982 to 1987 that led to his fleeing to exile in fear for his life.

Unable to catch and decapitate the"cobra" the Zanu government went on a most murderous orgy of a genocide intended to eliminate all perceived Nkomo supporters. The barbarity of the murders matched or possibly surpassed any that had been witnessed in history and since. It is hard to listen to accounts of how the people met their ends without one feeling extremely emotional or breaking down!

Many opportunities were missed and lost to our collective blindness to what was good for our country. People followed the politics of greed and became blind to and forgot to search for what was right and good for the country. Zimbabwe indeed sowed a wind and is now reaping a whirlwind!

We missed out on nation building which was supposed to be the first port of call in 1980. Instead, and against what Nkomo believed and taught, the country went on a slippery and toxic tribal road that grew worse to the intolerable levels that exist today. The trauma of the scourge will be with us for a long time; our country is polarised and has no hope of an immediate closing of the divide. Every passing day the gap between tribes expands as we continue to give power to national and African struggle delinquents who use tribalism and racism as political capital, alienating people and sowing divisions among the people who should be one. In the process, the masses, who today wallow in abject poverty, are denied basic rights and social services, with such crumbs as are to be had being doled out mainly using tribe and political allegiance.

We missed out on an orderly land reform as espoused in Joshua Nkomos broad manifesto in the plan for orderly conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence. Instead, land was used as a tool of political expediency in 2000 by pretenders whose popularity and influence on the political stage was waning. In the process, only faces and colour and political connectedness became the criteria for redistribution of looted land. Landlessness of the peasant was indeed greatly exacerbated. Fertile land has been turned barren by incompetent users who did not have the skills to properly utilise their loot.  

A lot of indigenous people, especially in the southern half of the country, were displaced by the new land looters and are living either outside the country or in crowded communal areas with infertile and unproductive soils and no pastures. This is not the land reform Joshua Nkomo envisaged. His was an agenda to build communities even where they did not exist, inculcating the spirit of coexistence and interdependence between commercial farm holders and the majority landless citizens, and an encouragement of skills transfer and sharing between the original commercial farmers and their new neighbours. According to the late ZAPU President, no Zimbabwean would be dispossessed but a formula would be worked out for equitable redistribution of the land to benefit all.
The country missed out on a sustainable economic development agenda by Nkomo, which could have seen the Southern African country competing with developed economies around the globe and able to adequately cater for its entire people. He taught us all about sustainable economic production as well as sound economic policies. The teachings we thrown out of the window as sound economic sense took second position to political dogma and allegiance by a party of individuals with no clear ideology but hell-bent only on amassing personal wealth and holding onto political and state power at whatever cost.

The disdain and despising of anything Nkomo stood for continues today. There have been some lately attempts to downplay Nkomo's stature by attempting to minimise some of his efforts and ascribe his achievements to Zanu, something so easy to see through as it is not in the ruling party's character to do anything that benefits the country but themselves. This has been seen in all that Zanu has done since inception in 1963. The marks are all over that Zanu midgets have forever felt dwarfed and shadowed by Nkomos huge legacy before and after his death.

The pretenders are now incentivising attacks on the legacy of the giant after they have successfully sabotaged all his programs and national initiatives, from the canning factory in Collen Bawn, Nuanetsi Ranching project, Agricultural mechanisation initiative in Matebeleland North to the Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo. This is over and above the decimation of his party in an operation that spanned five years from 1983 to 1987, which in result became a genocide crime against predominantly Ndebele speaking people of Midlands and Matebeleland.

As we commemorate the departure of the great man who, like every other, was despised by his own, we take solace in the fact that what he stood for makes the ideology of Zimbabwe African Peoples Union, which eventually, at his instruction to Joseph Msika, Themjiwe Lesabe, Dumiso Dabengwa, ZPRA leadership and many others, pulled out of the failed and now defunct 1987 Unity Accord in a process that started in December 2008 and ended by the inaugural congress after revival in 2010. It is a process Joshua Nkomo could have loved to have participated in as his heart had visibly been broken when he signed the forced Unity Accord which he knew would yield nothing for Zimbabwe.

With the structures, programs and ideology of ZAPU now revived and progressing as was envisioned by its founding leader, we rest assured that Joshua Nkomo's dream, which was deferred will finally be realised. His dream was and will never be lost, but parked for a while as the terrain for such vision became increasingly more hostile. We who follow in his footsteps will retrace to his principles and ideas, remember his teachings and finish the job he started. against it until Zimbabwe becomes the nation our father envisaged when he led a long struggle against racial inequality that prevailed from 1890 to 1980. On the foundation he laid, we will use bricks of his instructions, vision, mission and broad ideological concept to build a nation where all are equal, free and are treated with fairness in utmost justice.

Today as we commemorate the day the nations father left the stage, let us all revisit all his teachings, instructions and advice and build our country as according to his statutes, for he is the light that should shine our path to a prosperous country. Let us undertake to put aside our pride and suppress our empty egos, do what is right for the generality of our people and good for the future generations. Let us build a nation out of this country by fighting and eliminating tribalism, inequality, corruption, looting, often practiced by a small circle of criminals disguised as government.

Lt Col JZ Dlamini (Rtd)
Deputy National Organising Secretary

Source - ZAPU
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