'Nkomo, Mnangagwa share a lot in common'

BULAWAYO - The Joshua Nkomo Foundation (JNF) has expressed its willingness to work with the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa whom it equates to the revered Father Zimbabwe.

JNF director Jabulani Hadebe yesterday drew parallels between Nkomo and Mnangagwa, saying there were both forced into exile by the brutal former president Robert Mugabe.

“JNF is more than willing to work with the new president Mnangagwa and the organ for peace and national reconciliation in healing the wounds inflicted to the generality of our people in the first republic,” Hadebe said.

In welcoming the new president, Hadebe who is in charge of the organisation that seeks to restore the legacy of the late Father Zimbabwe, said it was their hope that Mnangagwa would walk in the shoes of Nkomo.

“The late vice president Nkomo and the current president Mnangagwa share similarities of being fugitives of an evil system created in the first republic.

“They were both fired from government, State agents were unleashed to devour them and they escaped the country fearing of their lives as border jumpers,” Hadebe said.

“The late Umdala Wethu’s speeches during the early 1980s and the disturbances that rocked our nation calling for unity, peace and justice were methodically suppressed as the press and broadcast media were brought under total State control, something which also happened when the former Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantino Chiwenga was denied coverage by the State broadcaster and State media.”

Hadebe further noted that Nkomo was likened to a cobra which deserved to be crushed by the then prime minister Mugabe and the same happened to Mnangagwa who was likened to a snake that deserved to be killed by the then first lady Grace Mugabe.

Hadebe who is in charge of the Joshua Nkomo Museum said he was working on having the new president officially open the museum after the former president snubbed the invitation several times.

Nkomo’s house in Matshemhlope was turned into a museum to capture his life story from the time he was born, his education in Zimbabwe and later in South Africa where upon his return went straight into trade unionism until such a time when he entered into politics.

The museum also captures issues to do with the sad chapter of Gukurahundi including the death of Lookout Masuku and the attack on his Pelandaba house which also resulted in the death of two bodyguards.