HARARE - Former war veterans leader, Jabulani Sibanda — also a former aide to the late “Father Zimbabwe”, Joshua Nkomo — says the respected nationalist is “probably turning in his grave” as President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF presides over “debilitating divisions in the country and a collapsing economy”.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday as the country remembers Nkomo, Sibanda said the revered leader of Zapu before its merger with Mugabe’s party in 1987 would “definitely be disappointed” by Zimbabwe’s demise under Zanu PF if he was alive.
“Nkomo would not be happy if he was alive because the current leadership is actually presiding over the liquidation of the party and country. It is presiding over the liquidation of the State. I tell you, if Nkomo was alive he would be greatly disappointed,” he said.
Nkomo died on July 1, 1999 following a long illness, and after spending his entire adult life fighting for an equal and prosperous Zimbabwe.
Sibanda said Nkomo would be disappointed with Zanu PF and the state of the country because his vision for Zimbabwe was one of freedom, progress and development.
“Nkomo is the only leader in the world who went on to negotiate (with Mugabe’s Zanu) walking on top of graves in the interest of peace and unity in the country, as well as future generations. He stood for peace, tranquility and prosperity, and sadly all these values have since been destroyed by Zanu PF led by Mugabe.
“Nkomo was selfless but now we see that President Mugabe and his party are presiding over the destruction of all the values that Nkomo stood for. They are de-commissioning the party, they are de-revolutionising the party and as a result there is unprecedented disintegration of the party and government.
“But at the same time, he (Nkomo) would also be happy because he believed in the ordinary people of Zimbabwe. So, if he was here he would give people hope, unite them and tell them to find one another.
“He would give people hope because to him the people always came first, and thus he would have given the people hope and courage to regroup for the survival of the country, the revival of the economy and re-establishment of our image among other African nations.
“Yes, Nkomo would have been disappointed, but on the other hand he would have been happy,” Sibanda said.
Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo, said Father Zimbabwe had “prophesied all the troubles” that the country wa facing.
“He foresaw this when he made a speech at Lookout Masuku’s funeral. I believe that to address the challenges we are facing, we should allow more debate about Nkomo’s values and the resuscitation of his projects,” he said.
“There is something radically wrong with our country today and we are moving fast towards destruction,” the late vice president was quoted saying during the burial of Masuku on April 12, 1986.
The Bulawayo-based analyst said there was current “confusion and corruption” which were taking place “under the false mirror of correcting imbalances of the past”.
“Many young men and women are eking out a difficult life on the streets of our cities as there is terrible unemployment. Life has become harsher than ever before. People are referred to as squatters,” he said.