Zimbabwe’s Vice President John Nkomo dies

John Nkomo died Thursday morning

By Violet Gonda
17 January 2013

Vice President John Landa Nkomo died on Thursday morning, after years battling cancer.

Nkomo was 78 years old and is Zimbabwe’s fourth vice president to die in office, after Joshua Nkomo, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika – who passed away aged 82, 80 and 85 respectively.

President Robert Mugabe expressed his sorrow at the loss of the Vice President, during a joint press conference on the new constitution at State House.

The president said: “On behalf of cabinet, our sincerest condolences to his family, to his dear old mother, to his relatives and to all his friends. We are together with them.

“They have lost a real revolutionary, a fighter for freedom, a friend of the people.”

Nkomo was a founding member of nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU, before its merger with ZANU PF in 1987 following the Gukurahundi massacres.

He held several portfolios as a cabinet minister before being appointed one of Mugabe’s deputies in 2009, following the death of Msika.

The United States embassy was the first to announce his death in a condolence statement.

“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, Nkomo played an important role in shaping the course of Zimbabwean history. May he rest in peace,” the embassy statement read.

Initially there were conflicting reports as to where the vice president was when he died, with some reports saying he died in South Africa after treatment for cancer. But the president revealed that his situation deteriorated on Wednesday and he was rushed to St Anne’s Hospital in Harare where he passed away.

Some observers have pointed out that it is unfortunate that senior government leaders are still in office when they are old and ill, and die before they are able to enjoy retirement.

Water Minister and a close family member, Sam Sipepa Nkomo told SW Radio Africa: “I don’t know if it’s their policy that they can’t rest from public office. I totally agree that this is what happened before. The four vice presidents died in office. They were sick and I can only assume that this is perhaps the policy of their party.”

But he added that the family couldn’t really raise the issue of retirement with John Nkomo because; “the state in which he was, you couldn’t raise anything like that because you were afraid that you could hurt his feelings and whether he retired or not in the end was making no difference. You could see that the main was in pain.”

Observers say Nkomo’s death is likely to renew the succession debate and the discussions around 88 year old Mugabe’s health, as the country prepares for ‘make or break’ elections this year.

20 Responsesto “Zimbabwe’s Vice President John Nkomo dies”

  1. tatenda r says:

    rest in peace our President

  2. Anonymous says:

    Look, 1. Joshua Nkomo(82) 2.Simon Muzenda(80) 3.Joseph Msika (85) 4. John Nkomo (78) . Now the Graph comes / =82, 80, 85.78.. Where would be Amai Mujuru`s age level ? Madzakutsaku akapedza kuuraya nyika nevana veZimbabwe. What about the Presidents` graph ? 1. Mugabe (88) 2. Who and at what age next? The Graph comes .———————————————- = 88,————————-.? Zvino toita zvipi apa ? I need analysis and help.

  3. Mpunity says:


    Every time a prominent figure in Zanu-PF dies it becomes the occasion for all sorts of nonsense and stupidity. We recall the ridiculous things that were said when Zvinavashe died. We are now seeing the same with John Nkomo’s death.

    The US Embassy is reported as saying: “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”.

    Excuse me. We may not like to speak ill of the dead, but let’s not tell lies. Assuming they are being reported accurately, I’m not sure what the American agenda is, but this is total rubbish. How can anyone with any sense say that John Nkomo dedicated his life to Zimbabwe’s prosperity?

    Since the 1980s, he has sat at the heart of the beast that has destroyed Zimbabwe’s economy. He has held the hand of the dictator that has obliterated our hopes and freedoms. He must now be remembered by the choices he made. He chose to oppose the people, rather than serve them. He walked around in tailor-made suits while Zimbabweans walked in rags. He received private medical treatment in South Africa, while Zimbabweans in South Africa were dying in the townships. And he has many questions to answer even prior to his joining Zanu-PF.

    Why was it that he was one of the last Zapu people to be dismissed from government in the 1980s, long after Joshua Nkomo and others had been sacked?

    Why was he, of all people, chosen to accompany Mugabe to an international conference in early 1983 while his fellow party members were being slaughtered in the Gukurahundi?

    Go and ask our Zapu friends if you think I am making this up.

    My advice to the Americans and others who appear to be bending over backward to show their neutrality in 2013 is this: better to shut-up and say nothing than to insult the millions of Zimbabweans who have been murdered and impoverished by Zanu-PF.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      What is this rhodie talking about? Roy Bennett should shut the fuck up and live quietly in South Africa. The moment he steps his foot in Zimbabwe, it is most likely he will be arrested and he is fully aware of this.

      Roy Bennett had his good times often manipulating and stealing from the indigenous people during the Rhodesia era. Besides, Roy Bennett is a bitter rhodie whose stolen farm was taken by government for resettlement purposes and was denied a cabinet post due to the diabolic role he played during the Ian Smith era. Those who do not know, Roy Bennett was a member of the notorious ‘selous scouts’, or the hit squad of the Rhodesia security forces. The selous scouts killed thousands of our people during the war of independence. It is no wonder Robert Mugabe refused to appoint him a Deputy Minister of Agriculture, a post the MDC-T had wanted him to occupy during the last general elections.

      • Yepec says:

        You never stop singing for your supper, do you? You are capable of seeing what happened yesterday but you cannot see what is happening around you today that Zimbabweans are groaning under the tyranny of Zanu PF. For the past 32 years, the so called revolutionary Party has killed, oppressed, dehumanised, stole and corrupted those it claimed to be liberating. The process, is likely to go into the in future unless stopped now.

        Zanu PF, has gone a notch up, the Police and the Army are into mining and smuggling of the diamonds at Chiadzwa with the generals living a richman’s life. Yet you do not see all this evil – “they are controlling the country’s resources”. For how long do you have to keep on singing for your supper before you shut up or see this rot? The dictator kills all his second in command for fear that they have seen too much of what he is doing.

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          No matter how outrageous your views and opinions are, as democrats we can not take them from you. We will let you live in your own fools paradise because for you any economic activity done by the black people of this country should amount to corruption. What surprises our is any economic activity done by foreigners from the west is glorified by you. Of course, Malcolm X was right when he classified the negro mentality into two categories, namely a ‘house negro’ and a ‘field negro’. I am not going to spoon feed you as to what he meant because you can find this for yourself.

          • Yepec says:

            Of all commentators on this website, you are one of the criminals at heart, speaking with a forked tongue but mindful of singing for your benefits, in case, you are made to loose them.

            (i) Can you tell the readers why the War Veteran Association, since its conception, has been led by people who never fought in the war of Zimbabwe’s Independence?

            (ii) Also, can you tell the readers, why the average age of the war veteran members is below 30 years?

            (iii) What name is given to such type of people – even belonging to such type of an organisation?

            That is why the masses say that you have a mercenary mentality. How can you not be able to see the present injustices against the people of Zimbabwe, Chimbwido Warvet? This is one more reason you become fake. Can you say that John Nkomo was much better than his accomplice – sekuru Mugabe and his Zanu PF, side kicks?

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            You are not going to divert my attention from the issue at stake here. It does not work for me to address the War Veteran Association we have discussed many times over. Have you forgotten that you asked this question some months ago and I gave you an answer.

            Anyway, this issue under review is about the untimely demise of the Vice-President John Nkomo. That is where we should focus our attention at and talk about for now.

          • Yepec says:

            “Anyway, this issue under review is about the untimely demise of the Vice- President John Nkomo.That is where we should focus our attention at and talk about for now”. Your very own words. I will answer the items for you even though you might have wanted to play tricks on me.

            Despite your refusal to answer the questions, let me put it this way (it may be too blunt for you).

            {i} The War Veteran Association has been led by people who where not in the struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence because its philosophy is mercenary – people who fight for profits based on the highest bidder.

            (ii) The average age of members of the War Veteran Association is below 30 years of age because most of its members were never in the war of liberation to begin with (think of Minister Saviour Kasukuwere for a clue).

            (iii) Lastly, John Nkomo was a sell-out and an oppressor like the Party to which he belonged and its Vice President.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            I have always said views, values and opinions are not homogeneous as we all think differently. It also goes without saying our level of reasoning and behavior are shaped by our level of education. We can educate each others but we may decide to religiously keep our values, views and opinions to ourselves and nobody can do anything about it. Let us, therefore, agree to disagree because I do not see the point of arguing with you over issues you have raised above. That is your way of reasoning which I can not take away from you.

    • Yepec says:

      Speaking the truth makes mercenaries to Zimbabwe’s liberation tremble and mess up in their pants. The truth is like a flaming, hot rod. The arm of justice is long but it will catch up with them.

  4. the undertaker says:

    well he enjoyed the comforts of good life .licking mugabes boots.he did not give a shit about ndbeles,shonas or whites,just the bank balance as his wife told me.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Can you tell us how many people you took from the morgue to their burial site today? I am made to understand that some rich people In Zimbabwe are buying tombstones that will be yakking when one passes by their burial site, mate? How far true is that, mate?

  5. wilbert_mukori says:

    If A saves a girl from being raped by B but then A goes on to the girl. Do you think A should be judged on from what he did to save the girl, exclusively from what he did after saving the girl or what he did both to save the girl and what he did after? Suppose I say to you he saved the girl from rape only to rape and murder the girl.

    From what people like Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies have done since
    independence there can be no doubt they fought the war of independence not as liberators by rather as mercenaries. After independence, it was payback time as far as they were concerned. They even denied the people the freedom, liberty, human dignity and life itself; they very things they were supposedly fighting to secure for the people.

    The whites denied the blacks the vote period. Zanu PF could not deny them that right but has beaten and raped millions of blacks and murdered over 30 000 others to deny them a meaningful vote. Not only did John Nkomo like everyone else in Zanu PF know about the brutal repression he benefited from it.

    If we cannot hold someone who was Vice President in the regime
    accountable for what the regime has been doing then who the hell are we going
    to hold accountable? His gardener? The victims of the oppression? Who?

    Some Zimbabweans have elevated those who fought in the war of independence way above all other mortals; it is no surprise these people have struggled to accept these Demigods can do any wrong even with the mountain of evidence of the corruption and brutality they committed. Tyrants like Mugabe took full advantage of this weakness to commit even more outrageous human rights violations.

    Bury one’s head in the sand has no doubt help these murderers sleep easy
    at night still it has been a great disserve to the nation. We must stop living
    a lie whilst millions continue to suffer and hundreds die under this brutal

    After independence people like Mugabe, Nkomo and the rest of the Zanu PF
    thugs chose out of their own free will to extort the mercenary’s ransom price
    in the form of absolute political power and unfettered access to the nation’s
    resources and wealth. They are therefore then mercenaries and it is nonsensical to treat them as national heroes as well! When you are a mercenary you cannot and will never be a hero too, especially when you are still hanging on to your mercenary extortionist loot!

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      Typical of men and women who hold out for pies in the sky and never think they also need to eat pies on mother earth. Get realistic and fight for your people to eat pies here on mother earth and not when they go to heaven, mate. And by the way, do not appear sophisticated because after all you are just Wilbert Mukori.

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