|Security sector reforms nonsensical — VP Nkomo|
|Saturday, 30 June 2012 21:20|
Vincent Gono in PlumtreeVICE-PRESIDENT Cde John Nkomo said the call by parties in the dysfunctional inclusive Government for security sector reforms was nonsensical and meant to weaken the country’s defence and the gains of the liberation struggle.
Speaking in Plumtree yesterday at the memorial service held in honour of Retired Lieutenant Colonel Chilisi Bhuka Ngwenya who was recently declared a national hero, Vice-President Nkomo said it was absurd that there were people calling for security sector reforms saying the army should not meddle in politics.
He said such people were ignorant of where they came from and needed traditional healers to help them understand their history and that of the country.
“I am saddened by the calls from among some of us in Government for security sector reforms. They are saying those in the army should first retire before being qualified to speak on national politics. They say the army should not get into politics to protect the gains of the hard-won independence. I do not understand this. I think they need traditional healers to examine them so that they can appreciate where they are coming from.
“The army should be allowed to speak about their country and to protect the gains of the liberation struggle against neo-colonial forces that are lurking behind the façade of these political formations,’’ he said.
Cde Ngwenya was buried at the Bulilima-Mangwe district heroes’ acre in Plumtree.
Vice-President Nkomo described the sacrifice made by the late Rtd Lt-Col Ngwenya whose Chimurenga name was Elliot Mnyamana or Black Swine in the liberation struggle as immense. He said it was worrying that there were those who say they support the land reform but disagree with the way it was done.
He said such talk could only come from people not mindful of the way people were forcibly moved from their land and resettled in the Gwai and Shangani reserves where stones grew better than plants and where rainfall rarely visits.
“Those people are ignorant of the way we were moved to the designated Gwai reserve created by the settler regime. We were forced to move and there was no room for negotiation. But when we do it we are labelled human rights abusers. We are being told that we are invading private property. Those farms should be given back to their black owners and there should be no room for negotiations.
"That is what people like the late Ngwenya fought for and we should respect them by fulfilling their aspirations. Zimbabwe is our land and God gave us dominion over all the natural resources that is in the land, in the water and everywhere else and we should ensure that the inheritance left to us by such gallant figures as Cde Joshua Nkomo, George Silundika and Mnyamana are jealously guarded," he said.
He added that they fought against colonial oppression where at school pupils were asked to sing songs such as God bless the Queen so that she rules us forever.
Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya said Cde Ngwenya worked tirelessly to liberate the country. He said the decision by the party Politburo to declare him national hero was unanimous and there was no disgruntlement as has been said.
The memorial service was attended by Governor Cde Angeline Masuku, Minister of Small to Medium Scale Enterprises Development Cde Sithembiso Nyoni, Matabeleland South Provincial Chairman Cde Andrew Langa, Politburo members Cde Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, and Rtd Col Tshinga Dube and senior officers from the country's armed forces.
It was also attended by Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Mr Lutho Paddington Tapela, senior Government officials and Chief Mpini.