VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has claimed that if the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo was still alive last November, he would have endorsed the military’s Operation Restore Legacy which facilitated the removal of former President Robert Mugabe from power.
Chiwenga made the remarks in Bulawayo on Thursday as he launched the Joshua Nkomo Legacy Foundation.
“I am convinced that Dr Nkomo would have been proud of what we have achieved from November last year to date,” he said.
“We stand at the dawn of a new era, the Second Republic. The election season has come and is also behind us. It is time to heal the electoral wounds and seek a true binding of hearts aimed towards the common goal of a better country, greater service delivery, uplifted peoples, social harmony and national peace.”
Chiwenga was the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander during Operation Restore Legacy which ushered in the new leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Meanwhile, Chiwenga said the Joshua Nkomo Legacy Foundation would be an integral part of delivering all the dreams and aspirations of the late nationalist who was also known as Father Zimbabwe.
“We have never stopped thinking on how to play a part to honour our great leader Dr Nkomo. Therefore, we set out a path to participate and contribute to his Legacy Restoration Programme,” he said.
“Mqabuko’s legacy is building a better life for all and this foundation will certainly bring that to the people of Zimbabwe. Even in death, Dr Nkomo continues to have an enormous impact on the lives of many. The Joshua Nkomo Legacy Foundation should make a visible impact in the lives of our people.”
He said Nkomo’s story was still largely untold and people should continue to learn from his life and cement peace, unity, love and tolerance.
“As leadership, we have cautioned that peace will not come until together as a people we recognise fully and acknowledge the role played by Father Zimbabwe and other heroes and heroines in liberating and developing this country,” Chiwenga said.
“Throughout his life, he (Nkomo) committed himself to building society that promotes all our cultures in their diversity and he knew no tribe, race nor creed, but the children of the soil, abantwana benhlabathi, vana vevhu. Hence the need to continuously cultivate those key values of peace, unity, love and tolerance as we build our country going forward.”
Meanwhile, Chiwenga said government is set to introduce a national tourism facilitation committee as a commitment to visitor facilitation at the country’s ports of entry and exit.
Officially opening this year’s edition of the annual Sanganai-Hlanganani World Tourism Expo at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds, Chiwenga said government was aware of the delays that tourists have to endure at some of the country’s ports of entry.
“Coupled with this, port infrastructure, upgrading and development, especially at Beitbridge and Kazungula Border Posts will also be given priority and attention,” he said.
“We can make our destination competitive or uncompetitive, depending on the efficiency and effectiveness of our facilitation at the ports of entry and exit. While we acknowledge the efforts being made to address this problem, I urge the relevant authorities to come up with lasting solutions to these challenges.”
Chiwenga said government was confident that it can increase tourist arrivals three-fold from the current 2,4 million to well over seven million in the next five years.