josh nkomo.jpgThe liberation of Zimbabwe came after the supreme sacrifice by sons and daughters of the soil who were encouraged by dedicated leaders like Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nyongolo Nkomo to bring about the Independence we enjoy today.

 

Today the nation celebrates the life of Dr Joshua Nkomo in which he was devoted to peace, unity and sovereign rule.

 

Born to black missionary teachers in Semokwe reserve in Matabeleland in 1918, Dr Nkomo saved up for his education in South Africa, where he met Cde Nelson Mandela and other regional nationalist leaders who inspired him to fight the racist colonial rule in the then Southern Rhodesia.

 

Upon his return to Bulawayo in 1948, he became a trade unionist campaigning for better wages and working conditions for black railway workers.

 

Leader of a number of nationalist movements during the 1950s and 1960s, Dr Joshua Nkomo founded the National Democratic Party and liberation movement, the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union, ZAPU in 1962.

 

Between 1964 and 1974, Dr Nkomo also known as Chibwechitedza, like most leading nationalist, was detained by the Rhodesian government of Ian Smith.

 

He served at various Restriction Camps among them Gonakudzingwa where he was alongside fellow nationalists like Josiah Chinamano, Daniel Madzimbamuto, Joseph Msika among others revolutionaries.

 

On his release, Dr. Nkomo left for Zambia to lead the struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence commanding the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army, backed mostly by the Soviet Union.

 

Dr Nkomo joined hands with fellow nationalist leader and compatriot, Cde. Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union, ZANU, to found the Patriotic Front in 1976.

 

The Patriotic Front was to be the banner under which the two launched joint operations to end of colonial domination.

 

White rule continued in a period of increased guerrilla warfare by the freedom fighters under the two leaders and the colonialists having been pushed to limit, they called for the Lancaster House Conference in London in 1979.

 

After, the conference general elections were held leading to Independence on April 18, 1980.

 

At Independence ,Dr Nkomo was appointed Minister of Home Affairs. He worked tirelessely to unite the country under the unity accord which he signed with the then Prime Minster Cde, Robert Mugabe on December 22 1987.

 

In January 1988 Cde Nkomo was elevated to the post of Senior Minister and subsequently Vice-President of Zimbabwe in 1990.

 

Cde Nkomo left behind a legacy of unity and empowerment which saw over three hundred thousand black families get land under the Land Reform Programme just a year after his death.

 

His departure on the 1st of July 1999 left an unforgettable mark in Zimbabwean politics.
 
May Umdala Wethu’s desire for peace and unity continue to guide the nation.