Joshua Nkomo's family threatens to exhume his body

Joshua  Nkomo's family threatens to exhume his body
Published: 01 October 2019 (289 Views)
THE angry family of the revered late vice president, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, pictured, says it is considering exhuming his remains from the National Heroes Acre - together with those of his wife Johanna Mafuyana - and rebury them at a family compound in Kezi, Matabeleland South, the Daily News reported.

This comes after the bitter family of the late former president Robert Mugabe embarrassed President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF government at the weekend by interring his remains at his rural home in Zvimba, despite having initially agreed to have the nonagenarian buried at the national shrine in Harare.

Nkomo's outspoken son, Sibangilizwe Nkomo, told the Daily News yesterday that he had unsuccessfully tried to have his father's death-bed wish  to be buried in Kezi respected but the family was overruled by Mugabe who insisted that he had to be buried at the national shrine.

"I have been getting calls from all over the country over this issue. I am on record that my father will have to rest where he had to rest. He had said very clearly that he wanted to be buried at his homestead next to his father.

"I actually refused that he be buried at the Heroes Acre, because he had told me that he wanted to be buried at his homestead," Sibangilizwe said.

"I failed to achieve this because most probably I did not have as much power as Grace Mugabe, and my family reluctantly agreed to have him buried at the National Heroes Acre.

"Now, the nation must understand that should we decide as a family to remove his remains from the Heroes Acre, it will be because we are following his wishes.

"It's not necessarily linked to current developments. We still have that wish to bury him next to his parents as he wanted," he added.
Nkomo, popularly known as Father Zimbabwe, died on July 1, 1999 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre after being declared a national hero for his immense contribution to the war of liberation.

He is buried next to his wife Johanna, who was popularly known as Mama Mafuyana — who died on June 3, 2003. Sibangilizwe also said if the family decided to exhume his father's remains, they would also do the same for Mama Mafuyana.

"They (my parents) went through thick and thin together and I don't see a scenario where we take one and leave the other," he said.
Last month, the Nkomo family also slammed the controversial decision to build a special and exceedingly expensive grave for Mugabe at the National Heroes Acre.

Speaking to our sister publication, the Daily News on Sunday in an exclusive interview, Sibangilizwe said bluntly that this decision was wrong and unjustified. He also said that it could not be argued "rationally" that Mugabe was a bigger hero than the country's many other heroes and heroines — a significant number of whom, he observed, were not "lying at the national shrine".

The fuming Sibangilizwe said further that his own father's contribution to Zimbabwe's history, welfare and peace could not "conceivably" be seen as inferior to that of Mugabe's, adding, "in all modesty", that many people, "in fact", would always view Father Zimbabwe as the greater leader.

"This is why people gave him (Nkomo) the endearing name of Father Zimbabwe, and no one else. He was a great revolutionary.
"I see that some people are trying all they can to have Mugabe seen as the greatest politician of all time in Zimbabwe.

"We have been following all their attempts (in this regard), but the fact of the matter is if you are a big man you will always be one.

"They can put you on top of a hill and you can be hailed as a king but if you are not big you are not. You can't change that," the forthright Sibangilizwe said.

"Now, we are hearing some of them say all sorts of things about Mugabe, feting him also as Father Zimbabwe. It's sad.

"The reality is that there is only one Father Zimbabwe, and that was Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. Not anyone else. Shakespeare said some are born great, and that's Joshua Nkomo for you.

"Some people achieve greatness, and that's Strive Masiyiwa or Bill Gates for you. Some have greatness thrust upon them, and that's Robert Mugabe for you," Sibangilizwe added.

Mugabe, who died on September 6 at the top-notch Gleneagles Medical Centre in Singapore, was interred in a fortified grave in Zvimba on Saturday, even though he had forced the burial of some of his former colleagues in politics at the National Heroes Acre, against their wishes.

The government was for weeks involved in horse-trading with the Mugabe family before eventually agreeing to have him buried in Zvimba as per his wishes.

This came as an embarrassment to the government, which had already started building the controversial and expensive mausoleum an elaborate structure that was supposed to house Mugabe's tomb at the Heroes Acre.

- dailynews

Tags: Nkomo,
 

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