SIBANGILIZWE NKOMO, the son of the late veteran nationalist and Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, yesterday said it was important to honour the country’s liberators as it helped in the healing and reconciliation process.
Speaking at commemorations to celebrate the life of his father at Stanley Square in Makokoba, Sibangilizwe said although some people still bore scars as a result of political differences, it was “time we seriously healed ourselves at family and national levels”.
“People are fighting region against region, brother against brother. This is the time we must reconcile. Let’s resuscitate our dignity and follow tradition. Our tradition will guide us,” Sibangilizwe said.
He said when people went to war, they were cleansed at Njelele shrine and there were not chaos at the traditional ceremonies.
“When soldiers returned from war, they went to places like Njelele for ritual purposes, but they did not go there in a jambanja (chaotic) fashion,” he said.
“The Nkomo family is pleading for nation building.”
Sibangilizwe commended the government for honouring his father by naming the airport and a street after him as well as erecting a statue in Bulawayo.
Ex-Zipra combatant, retired Colonel Buster Magwizi, commended Nkomo for bringing peace to the country labelled him a peace builder, a Zimbabwe and an African patriot.
“Nkomo did not want violence. His words were full of God and our ancestors,” he said.
“He was the master of unity, a patriot of Zimbabwean and an African patriot too.”
Magwizi said there would never be another Father Zimbabwe and a lot would be written about the great peace and nation builder.
He demanded the opening of Ekusileni Heath Centre, the brainchild of Nkomo, and that July 1 be declared a public holiday.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo said those who had spoken before her had pre-emptied her prepared speech and urged Sibangilizwe to remain responsible and be a unifier as his father was.
Sandi Moyo said she would support anything the Nkomo family proposed.
She urged people to unite saying even the British once fought with the Americans, but they buried their differences.
The commemorations began with a march from the Blue Lagoon at Renkini bus terminus to Nkomo’s statue and to Stanley Square where the main celebrations were held.