Desecrating Joshua Nkomo's legacy

HARARE - A patently objectionable decision by the police to bar and therefore gag Zimbabweans from discussing the legacy of one of the few real national heroes this country has had is awful beyond words — particularly when that adored hero is the late Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo.

Honestly, why can’t Zimbabweans meet to honour this revered giant of our struggle? Or is it that there are many in the post-liberation body politic who remain haunted by their victimisation of this gentle giant and the universal adulation that the veteran nationalist enjoyed across the length and breath of our country?

Twice the Daily News has tried to sponsor a forum where politicians, academics and civic organisations could discuss and debate the legacy of tolerance, political magnanimity and rare leadership excellence that Dr Nkomo represented.  

And twice the police and security agents have acted to hobble such efforts out of unfounded fears of the outcome of such necessary debates.

It is gobsmackingly incomprehensible and idiotic.

Indeed, ordinary Zimbabweans are justified in questioning what it is that authorities fear about debating a man who selflessly led them and raised their consciousness about fighting for their rights in both pre and post-independent Zimbabwe.

Nkomo rightly instilled in all of us the liberating feeling of freedom from doubt; belief in oneself and our right to unyoke ourselves from all oppressive tendencies.

Why could it then be conceivably wrong or criminal to meet to remember, honour and discuss such a hero among heroes?

This is why Zimbabweans are now justified in speculating about the source of fear among some in authority about a humble man who spent the best part of his life fighting to emancipate the nation from both colonial and black-on-black oppression.

Among the many theories being bandied about is that some among us are fearful that any discussion involving Joshua Nkomo may dwarf them into political midgets, measured against his priceless contribution to our nation building project.

And yet others say that some of Nkomo’s contemporaries feel threatened by the enduring popularity of a man who once famously and prophetically remarked that Zimbabweans had to be careful that they didn't gain independence without gaining freedom. - Staff Writer

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