Mafela Trust national director, Zephaniah Nkomo (70) has died.
Nkomo died at a private hospital in Bulawayo on Sunday after suffering from a respiratory ailment.
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Opposition ZAPU spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa described Nkomo as a principled national hero who refused to be used by late former president Robert Mugabe to persecute his ZAPU and ZIPRA comrades.
Maphosa said Nkomo refused to be drafted into the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) after independence.
Nkomo spent four years in detention without trial for allegedly trying to assassinate Mugabe. Said Maphosa:
He was tortured but upon release, there was no reason given for his incarceration or apology for the wrongful arrest and the terrible treatment he received.
The words of the late Zapu President Joshua Nkomo apply equally to Cde Zwe as they did to Cde Lookout Masuku when he said: ‘You don’t give a man the status of a hero. All you can do is to recognise it. It is his.’
His deeds and choices made during his tumultuous life entitled him to the status of the best among the brave.
Nkomo joined the liberation struggle in 1977. He is survived by wife Thoko and five children.
A family spokesperson, Mandla Nkomo on Monday said Nkomo died of respiratory complications despite having tested COVID-19 negative.