|Make 1 July a national holiday|
|Saturday, 30 June 2012 21:09|
Senior ReporterZIMBABWEANS today mark the 13th anniversary of Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo’s death by honouring the memory of the liberator and man of peace, amid calls from political leaders for 1 July to be declared a national holiday .
Zanu-PF Secretary for Education in the Politburo, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, believes that it is long due for the day Dr Nkomo died to be turned into a national day of remembrance.
“It’s now 13 years since Vice President Nkomo died and it’s sad to see that the day of his death is viewed like any other day. This is a mockery of Nkomo’s unparalleled contribution to the liberation struggle and the political, social and economic development of Zimbabwe. We need to be thankful because he struggled so our fight would be easier.
“Tomorrow (today) is the day that we honour Dr Nkomo and I believe if all things were equal it would be a national holiday. Let us remember the man, the motive, and the mission. We must never forget the sacrifices that he did for each and every one of us,” said Dr Ndlovu.
Dr Ndlovu said that besides declaring 1 July a national holiday Dr Nkomo’s various unfinished projects and monumental tributes need to be completed.
“The Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport is still far from being finished, the project is being done in fits and starts and that is not acceptable. Same applies to Nkomo’s hospital and statue. Failure to finish these projects is an insult of Nkomo’s legacy,” he said.
War veterans leader, Cde Jabulani Sibanda, said he supports the idea of making 1 July a national holiday because Dr Nkomo fathered nationalism.
“Dr Nkomo is the father of Zimbabwe not in words alone but in deeds, that name did not just materialise from nowhere. The issue of making the day of his death a national holiday should be debated and without fear. It is a brilliant idea. Dr Nkomo fathered nationalism, he was there when it started, he was at the forefront and he saw it to the end. President Mugabe was the father of the revolution but Dr Nkomo was the undisputed father of nationalism,” said Cde Sibanda.
Bulawayo United Residents Association chairperson, Mr Winos Dube, believes that declaring 1 July a national holiday is long overdue.
He said: “I believe that making 1 July a national holiday would be a great honour bestowed on a great man who did a great job for the nation. I would respect and welcome such a move which I believe is long overdue. Dr Nkomo was a man who made Zimbabwe a united country through his works and speeches. Such a day will teach the future generations and will be a reminder to them that the unity and peace they have is owed to people like Dr Nkomo.”
MDC-T Bulawayo Province chairman, Mr Gorden Moyo, said, as much as he supports the calls for a national holiday for Dr Nkomo, there was a need to finish Dr Nkomo’s projects so that he is remembered everyday.
“I should start by saying that I am angry that Nkomo’s lecture which was supposed to be conducted at NUST (University of Science and Technology) was cancelled without a reasonable reason offered. We have celebrated Nkomo through galas and other functions but I believe that it was time to celebrate him through knowledge and a leadership lecture which would have taught us a lot.
“But setting a day aside as much as I support it, it is secondary to what I think. I believe we should remember Nkomo every day and we can do that only when we finish the erection of the statue, the construction of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport and the Ekusileni Medical Centre. When people drive past the statue they will remember, when the sick go to Ekusileni they will remember, when travellers arrive or depart at the airport they will remember,” said Mr Moyo.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said the last minute cancellation of the Dr Joshua Nkomo memorial lecture was an unfortunate occurrence.
The memorial lecture that was set to be held at NUST on Friday was set to be presented by former Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr Nkosana Moyo was cancelled at the last minute over unclear circumstances. PM Tsvangirai said he was baffled by the cancellation.
“While I do not have the full details of the cancellation of that lecture I believe it is really obnoxious and baffling mainly basing on the contributions Dr Nkomo made to the nation before and after independence, it was definitely a very important lecture,” said the Prime Minister.