Zimbabwe’s John Nkomo dies
Zimbabwe’s second vice-president, John Landa Nkomo, has died at the age of 79.
Nkomo, who was the subject of frequent death rumours in 2012, succumbed to cancer at St Anne’s Hospital in Harare.
The Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa confirmed his death to City Press today.
“It’s a sad day for Zimbabwe. We have lost him and the whole of Zimbabwe is moved,” he said.
News of his death went viral on social media platforms, similar to how the incorrect reports of his death had spread five times before. But when the United States embassy in Harare issued a message of condolence, indications were that the reports were true.
“The Embassy of the United States of America expresses its condolences to the family and the people of Zimbabwe on the death of Vice President John Landa Nkomo. Whether as a teacher, a politician, an advocate for Zimbabwe’s independence, or as a public servant, Vice President Nkomo was a patriot who dedicated his life to Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and prosperity.
“As a leader of PF Zapu and Zanu-PF, Mr Nkomo played an important role in shaping the course of Zimbabwean history. May he rest in peace,” the embassy statement read.
By the time of publication, the Zimbabwe government was yet to issue an official statement.
» Nkomo’s career
Member of the ANC, 1958-59
Joined the National Democratic Party, 1960
Joined the Zimbabwe African People’s Union, 1961
Arrested and detained at Gonakudzingwa for two years, 1966-68
Joined the African National Council becoming deputy secretary-general, 1971
Attended the Geneva Conference as part of Joshua Nkomo’s delegation, 1976
Seriously injured in parcel bomb attack that killed Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, 1977;
Member of parliament, Matabeleland North, 1980-1985
Deputy minister of industry and energy, 1981
Minister of state in the prime minister’s office responsible to the deputy prime minister, 1982-84
Fired from government as one of only two remaining Zapu members, 1984
Member of parliament for Tsholotsho, 1985-1990
Minister of labour, manpower planning and social welfare, 1988-1995
Member of parliament for Bulawayo North, 1990-1995
Re-elected member of parliament for Bulawayo North, 1995-2000
Minister of local government and rural development, 1995
Minister of local government and national housing, 1997
Minister of home affairs, 2000
Minister of state in the president’s office responsible for special affairs, 2002
Speaker of parliament, 2005-2008
Minister of state in the president’s office responsible for national healing, reconciliation and integration, 2009
Vice-president, 2009 to date
- Nhlalo Ndaba