The late former ZPRA intelligence officer and Mafela Trust director, Zephaniah Nkomo, who died Sunday afternoon has been declared a provincial hero and will be buried at Nkulumane Provincial Heroes Acre in Bulawayo on Thursday.
Family spokesperson, Mandla Nkomo, said Cde Zwe, as Nkomo was affectionately known, would be buried at 10am at the provincial shrine.
“The programme is now clear,” he told CITE.“We were still waiting for the leadership to say what kind of status will be accorded to the late Zephaniah Nkomo.
A decision was taken this morning that he will be declared a provincial hero. What this means is that he will be buried at the Nkulumane Provincial Heroes Acre tomorrow at 10am.”
He added: “The programme will begin at his home, which is Number 8 Joan Road Lobenvale where there will be prayer at 8 o’clock after which we will leave for the burial. These are the arrangements so far. This evening (Wednesday) his ZPRA friends across the globe will hold a memorial service on Zoom at 6pm London time.
The late Zephaniah Maiwana Nkomo was born in Ntoli Communal Lands in the then Bulilima-Mangwe District on 1 May 1951.He did his primary schooling at the local Ntoli Primary School, up to Standard 6, after which he moved to Bulawayo’s Msitheli Secondary School where he did his O’ Levels.After completing his O levels he found employment at the Supersonic factory in Bulawayo.
However, the call to join the liberation struggle became too strong, in 1977, resulting in him joining the struggle in Zambia.ZAPU, Matabeleland Forum, a grouping of civic society organisations in the region and other stakeholders have described Nkomo as a hero in his own right and gallant fighter for the rights of Zimbabweans.
“His (Nkomo’s) contribution to the burning issues in the region was beyond doubt: his love for Matabeleland and his commitment to attempting to better the lives of ZIPRA comrades and to document their histories was continuous throughout his life,” said the Matabeleland Forum Tuesday in a condolence message.
“His compassion towards the suffering of his fellow ZIPRA comrades as they entered their later years without recognition or resources was well noted. He cared for others, and voiced their needs, while sharing what he had without a second thought.”