Nkomo family in the dark about AU award

late Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo

THE family of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo remains in the dark about the Africa Union (AU) honour bestowed on their father at the recently held 50th anniversary celebrations in Ethiopia.

By Nduduzo Tshuma, Staff Reporter

Nkomo’s son Sibangilizwe yesterday told the Southern Eye that they did not get any formal communication on the honour, but read about the matter in the media.

“None of the family members were told about the honour.

“We read about it in the media,” he said.

“If something concerns Nkomo, we would expect that his family is at least told.

“Now we do not know where the medal was taken to, who received it and where it is going to be kept. No one knows about the issue.”

Sibangilizwe said they expected whoever received the honour on behalf of Nkomo to inform the family on what exactly they had received. We want the honour to be declared to the family and country,” he said.

“We want the person who received the honour to show Zimbabweans that this is what was given to your son for his contributions to the liberation of the country.”

Sibangilizwe, Nkomo’s only surviving son, said as a family, they were interested in knowing the accolade their father had received.

Nkomo was honoured along with the late Zanu chairman Herbert Chitepo.

Also honoured were Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Oliver Tambo of South Africa, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Haile Selassie 1 of Ethiopia, among other liberators. Sibangilizwe, together with the Matojeni Cultural Society, last month said they would declare July 1 the day of his father’s death, a public holiday.

He said the decision was made following countless pleas to the government to honour the late Vice-President by declaring the date of his death a holiday, but these had been ignored.

Sibangilizwe said he had the full blessing of the Nkomo family.

Three years ago Sibangilizwe said he wanted to exhume Nkomo’s remains from the National Heroes’ Acre, saying his spirit was not at peace, but did not do so.