Condolences pour in for Nkomo

HARARE - There was an outpouring of grief yesterday following the death of Vice President John Nkomo in Harare yesterday morning.

And as news of his death filtered through the capital, and Zimbabwean countryside, some Western embassies — for long deemed hostile Zanu PF enemies by President Robert Mugabe himself — issued extremely sober tributes to the late nationalist.

“Whether as a teacher, a politician, an advocate for Zimbabwe’s independence, or as a public servant, Vice President Nkomo was a patriot who dedicated his life to Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and prosperity,” Bruce Wharton’s American embassy said in a statement Thursday.

“As a leader of PF Zapu and Zanu PF, Nkomo played an important role in shaping the course of Zimbabwean history. May he rest in peace,” it said.

Ex-Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sten Rylander said on the Daily News Facebook page: “RIP John Nkomo was always available for dialogue and discussion with us critical ambassadors. I got the feeling sometimes that he even shared some of our views on some issues!”

In a statement, the EU said: “The EU delegation wishes to express its condolences to the family and the people of Zimbabwe on the death of Vice President John Landa Nkomo.

“Vice President Nkomo will be remembered as a public servant and political leader who dedicated his life to the independence and development of Zimbabwe. “Our thoughts are with the people of Zimbabwe and the family of the Vice President as they mourn their loss.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said: “We join the rest of the country and the Nkomo family in expressing our deepest sympathy over the loss of Vice President Nkomo.

“He was a liberation icon, eminent nationalist and astute politician. VP Nkomo has died at a time when his diplomacy skills and political acumen is in great demand. On behalf of the MDC and on my behalf, I wish to extend heartfelt condolences to the Nkomo family.”

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono also paid tribute to Nkomo: “The sad and untimely departure of our revered Vice President Cde L Nkomo in an incalculable loss to the nation. The board of RBZ, management and staff, my family and I join the Nkomo family ... Jabu and siblings, the President Cde RG Mugabe, government and the whole nation in mourning the loss of a leader, businessperson of impeccable repute, and a father whose contribution to the liberation, progress and development of this country places him in a supreme category of departed heroes.

“His unassuming disposition, despite his position of authority, knowledge, wisdom and rare credentials made him a personal friend of almost everybody he interacted with. He will be missed by many. May his soul rest in peace.” - Staff Writer

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