joshua nkomo 26-06-11.jpgTraditional leaders in Matabeleland South have paid tribute to the late Vice President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo saying the important role he played in championing unity, peace and national development in the country will forever be cherished.

As the nation remembers the late Father Zimbabwe who died on the first of July in 1999, chiefs in Matabeleland South province have hailed the liberation icon saying Zimbabweans will forever be indebted to him for his personal sacrifice and selfless service to the people.

Chief Sigola of Umzingwane district and Chief Staudze of Beitbridge also thanked Umdala Wethu as he is affectionately known for championing peace and unity saying Zimbabweans should honour him by practicing his teachings.

“Dr Joshua Nkomo did not discriminate anyone on the basis of colour or ethnic backgrounds. He believed that Zimbabwe is for all Zimbabweans. We therefore should honour him by ensuring that we remain united, by making sure that peace prevails even as we head for elections. That is the Zimbabwe he would have wanted to see today,” the two chiefs concurred.

Given that Father Zimbabwe remains a symbol of peace and unity other traditional leaders implored the people of Matabeleland region to allow dialogue on the pre and post independence conflicts to take place so that unresolved cases can be addressed once and for all.

Chief Nyangazonke, however, urged the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to ensure that the traditional leadership plays an active role in this process.

“We all know what has happened in the past and it is important for us to talk about what transpired. It is important that we heal the wounds we have and move forward as a country. We, however, urge the government to involve chiefs in this process as most communities are more trusting of their traditional leaders than political figures,” said Chief Nyangazonke.

In line with the constitution the government established the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission whose role is to help deal with past and current injustices in order to build peace, reconciliation and social cohesion, values which Dr Nkomo strongly believed in.