89-year-old Zanu-PF leader, President Robert Mugabe on Sunday during the official unveiling of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo statue and renaming of Main Street claimed that he once offered the late father Zimbabwe presidency three times but he refused.
President Mugabe said after negotiations with the white regime when the black government was ushered into power, the two parties ZAPU and ZANU went as “sacred parties” into parliament.
“In Parliament, Zanu had 57 seats while Zapu had 20 seats, we then decided to combine the seats to be one force,” Mugabe said.
President Mugabe said after blacks had assumed control of the country, he then asked Dr Nkomo to assume role of presidency, post independence and Nkomo refused.
Referring to the late Father Zimbabwe Mugabe said: “I sent another delegation, he said no. I sent a third delegation, again he said no. I wanted him to be president while I was the Prime minister. This is when we then asked (the late) Canaan Banana to be the present.”
“The statute we are gathered here to officially unveil and the street we have renamed are the real story of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans, our struggles and our aspirations as a people,” he said.
“Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo (was) my co partner in the Unity accord which assured unity and peace in Zimbabwe.
That story is embodied in the person of Dr Nkomo for his leadership, his dedication and his ability to understand and translate the aspirations of zimbabweans. During his life he pursued many national roles before and after independence.
“The statue and the renamed street reconnect us with Umdala Wethu. They are a collective reminder that this country was not given on a silver platter. We fought a bitter armed struggle to get back our country,” said Mugabe.
The president hailed Dr Nkomo as a unifier, who had big dreams for the country to prosper and progress.
“At independence Dr Nkomo was in the forefront of building a new Zimbabwe, which was guided by thespirit of reconciliation a just and democratic Zimbabwe, what we had all fought for was always at the heart of father Zimbabwe.
“The statue, a national monument is therefore the country’s heritage, which embodies the values and aspirations of Zimbabweans, President Mugabe said.
He also said Dr Nkomo was a man of the people, who was not a tribalist nor a regionalist.
“He was indeed immersed in unity. The statue and street will allow us to continuously reflect on where we stand as a nation, also to introspect on what we are doing, vis a vie what Dr Nkomo stood for. We note that an earlier attempt had not satisfied us that the statue was an accurate representation of him, a man of the people, a man that we honour and respect,” the president praised.
Source : Bulawayo24