DR JOSHUA MQABUKO NYONGOLO NKOMO
1. Umdala Wethu, uMdala, Father Zimbabwe, King of Zimbabwe,Umafukufuku, Chibwechitedza (slippery rock), General Josh
2. Former Vice President of Zimbabwe and ZANU (PF) together with Simon Vengai Muzenda.He was succeeded by Joseph Wilfred Msika.
3. Born 19 June 1917 in Chief Bango’s village Semokwe Reserve in Matebeleland South, son and third child of Thomas Nyongolo Letshwantso Nkomo and Mlingo Hadebe who were active members of the London Missionary Society introduced by Robert Moffat (Mtshede).
Joshua had eight siblings,his most prominent brother being Stephen Jeqe Nkomo who held different government positions and died while he was Governor of Matebeleland South.
4. After primary education and a carpentry course in Tsholotsho Industrial Training centre he went to Adam’s College, Natal and Jan Hofmeyer School of Social Work in Johannesburg.He also studied for degree through UNISA.
5.1947 Became a Trade Unionist for black railway workers becoming secretary of RAWU
6.1949. Married Joanna Fuyana and their children are Thandiwe, Michael Sibangilizwe, LouiseSehlule,Earnest Thutani
7. 1952. Became leader of the Southern Rhodesia chapter of the African National Congress (ANC)
8. 1957 Elected President of SRANC, banned in 1959.
9. 1960. Elected President of the National Democratic Party (NDP) later banned.
10.1961.Elected President of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) later banned.
11.1962. President of the People’s Caretaker Council (PCC) later banned.He was presented with a ceremonial axe by traditional leaders of Mashonaland and crowned ‘King of Zimbabwe’
12.1964, April 6, Detained for 10 years at Gonakudzingwa with fellow nationalists until 1974.While there he met British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas Home.
13. Attended 1960 and 1961 Constitutional Conferences in London and Salisbury,1974 Victoria Falls Bridge conference,1974 Salisbury meeting with Rhodesia’s Ian Smith, 1976 Geneva Conference, Malta Talks and conclusive 1979 Lancaster House Conference in London as co-leader of the Patriotic Front with Robert Gabriel Mugabe of ZANU.After Geneva he had directed the war effort from Lusaka, Zambia where he survived an assassination attempt. He was well travelled right from the days of early nationalism and during the bush liberation war.
14. Commander in chief of the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) and ZAPU leader in exile in Lusaka, Zambia.He received a lot of military support from Russia and Soviet bloc where most top ZIPRA cadres and academics were trained.
15.1980. At Independence Joshua Nkomo’s party ZAPU lost to its liberation war Patriotic Front partner ZANU led by Robert Mugabe. He was elected MP for Midlands, Appointed Minister of Home Affairs after refusing to be a ceremonial or titular state President which then went to Rev Professor Canaan Sodindo Banana.
1981 Minister Without Portfolio,
1983 went into exile, reported widely as having fled via Botswana dressed as a woman to avoid identification after a serious fallout with Prime Minister Robert Mugabe during the Gukurahundi disturbances during which thousands of Nkomo’s supporters, former ZIPRA guerillas and innocent civilians were reported by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission to have been killed in the two Matebeleland provinces and Midlands in operations led by the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade.
The Herald newspaper quoted then home affairs minister Dr Herbert Ushewokunze as saying,’ I hope the women of Zimbabwe will protest at the use made by Mr. Nkomo of their mode of dress.’ Dr Nkomo in his biography dismissed all these claims as lies saying nothing like that ever happened.
Former President Mugabe described the brutal episode as ‘a moment of madness’ when he addressed members of the Brethren in Christ Church in Bulawayo in later years.
16. 1984.Nkomo published book Story of my Life, 1985 MP for Magwegwe.His ZAPU party consistently won overwhelmingly in Matebeleland constituencies despite disturbances and harassment.
17. 1987. Nkomo signed the unity accord with Robert Mugabe,merging ZANU and ZAPU into ZANU (PF) later becoming both ruling party and state Vice President.
18. He supported Strive Masiyiwa’s bid to establish Econet Wireless despite many obstacles.Former Vice President Joice Mujuru reportedly described him as ‘a senile old man’ when he resolutely supported Masiyiwa.
19. 1999. July 1- Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo died in Harare and was buried the National Heroes Acre.
20. Joshua Nkomo is remembered through street names, scholarship fund, schools and a clinic among other structures.