Zimbabweans on Monday commemorated the 14th anniversary of the late Vice President and ZAPU founder Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo’s death at Stanley Square in Bulawayo with the local authority naming the city’s main street after him.
Nkomo is revered by many as a principled leader and one of the main players in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle against white minority rule in the 1970s.
ZAPU was formed in 1961 and most officials, including President Robert Mugabe, broke away to form ZANU in 1963. After losing to ZANU in the 1980 elections at independence, Nkomo’s ZAPU later signed the unity accord with the ruling party in 1987.
The unity accord is credited for ending the Gukurahundi massacres in the mostly Matabeleland and Midlands regions where more than 20,000 people reportedly lost their lives at the hands of the country’s Fifth Brigade.
Nkomo’s son, Sibangilizwe, told VOA although his family is concerned about the government’s uncompleted projects, including an airport, statue and a hospital in honor his late father, their main wish Monday was for Zimbabweans to come together and celebrate the life of a man revered as Father Zimbabwe.
He said his father stood for a united Zimbabwe, adding the family would be much happier to see Zimbabweans from all walks of life, even different political parties, uniting for the good of the country.