MATABELELAND SOUTH provincial Council of Chiefs chairperson Chief Vezi Maduna says there is need for the government and relevant stakeholders to start the construction of a village the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo had intended to build in the Emshasheni area of Matopo before his death in 1999.
Emshasheni is an open space believed to be where the veteran nationalist would temporarily stay during his visits to the Njelele shrine for cultural rituals.
Speaking at commemorations to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of Nkomo held at Emshasheni, Chief Maduna said before Nkomo passed away, he intended to develop the area into a small village to accommodate those visiting the Njelele shrine.
“It is very disturbing that up to now nothing has been done in developing the area that Nkomo cleared in a bid to construct a village to provide shelter for those intending to visit the shrine.
“Before his death, Nkomo was pushing for the village construction and let us ensure that the village was constructed,” Chief Maduna said.
“The government and other stakeholders must come together and make Nkomo’s dream come true.
“A lot of things have been done for Nkomo and this one cannot be left out as he was a cultural man,” he said.
Chief Maduna said the village should be constructed in addition to other things the country has done in honour of the legendary freedom fighter.
He said different chiefs and elders from the region would meet to map the way forward in the proposed construction of the village before the end of this year.
Chief Khulumani Mathema of Gwanda’s Wenlock area said Nkomo’s wishes should be made a reality to complete his legacy.
“The area was Nkomo’s temporal shelter and he wished to construct a village for the people of Mthwakazi who would want to visit the shrine. We must make his wish a reality to complete his legacy,” Chief Mathema said.
Chief Zikode Masuku of Matopo said the construction of the village would create jobs for locals and become an income-generating project by attracting local and international tourists.
Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa attended the event along with a large crowd of Matopo villagers and former Zipra combatants.
Various cultural groups performed traditional dances and recited poems in praise of Nkomo.