The son of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, Sibangilizwe, has said preparations to unilaterally declare July 1 as Joshua Nkomo and Liberators’ Day are at an advanced stage.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
Sibangilizwe, who appears to be on a collision course with the government, says he has written several letters to the Home Affairs ministry to have a holiday declared in honour of his father, but these have been ignored.
“Preparations to declare Joshua Nkomo and Liberators’ Day have gone a gear up. Nothing will stop us,” he said.
“We have dispatched invitation letters to relevant government ministries, political parties and our support groups.
“However, we have not received feedback, particularly from the government.”
Nkomo died on July 1 1999 and Sibangilizwe says there will be celebrations to mark his 14th anniversary at Stanley Square, Makokoba.
“What is surprising about the government is that it does not respond to our communication, but in the past two years, political parties have graced our celebrations,” he said.
Sibangilizwe revealed that the police have given them a go-ahead to hold a procession from Blue Lagoon to Stanley Square.
Asked what action they would take if the government blocks the celebrations, Sibangilizwe quipped: “Who is brave enough to stop Nkomo? Nkomo is celebrated in the whole of Africa and who are we to undermine him in Zimbabwe?”
“This is not an Nkomo family function, it is for all Zimbabweans,” he said.
However, Sibangilizwe revealed that the family could not hold a memorial service for their late mother, Johanna, who died a decade ago.
Sibangilizwe said they plan to have a belated ceremony.
“Due to various challenges, we could not hold a memorial service for our dear mother,” he added. “But we plan a belated function soon.”