The Herald (Harare)

21 January 2013

Zimbabwe: VP's Death Shocks Tsholotsho

A dark cloud hung over Tsholotsho district following the death of Vice President Landa John Nkomo who was born and grew up in the district.

VP Nkomo (79) succumbed to cancer at St Anne's Hospital in Harare last Thursday. The district was plunged into mourning with scores of villagers thronging the VP's home in Bhule village.

VP Nkomo's mother Gogo MaDube, who is believed to be over 100-years-old, was shaken by the untimely death of her son.

"Ngizwa ubuhlungu mntanami. UJohn usengitshiyele isizungu esikhulu. We were hoping he was going to recover, but he has sadly passed on," said Gogo MaDube.

"Of course he was a national leader, but his death is devastating to me. He loved me and I do not know who will look after me." VP Nkomo's elder sister, Edna, said her younger brother was a humble man from childhood.

"He has always been humble and loved helping other people. He had a passion for education," she said.

His younger brother, Enoch (72) said he was shocked by VP Nkomo's death.

"We are in great pain, as a family. It is our most difficult moment. Yes he was sick and we saw him several times, but it is hard to accept that he is no more.

"He was a father figure and all of us got help from him."

Village head Mr David Ncube said the district would not be the same without VP Nkomo.

"This is a heavy blow to the family, the village, the whole district and the country at large. VP Nkomo was very helpful to our community. He has built us a school, Landa J. Nkomo High that we are proud of," said Mr Ncube.

"There is no such school in the entire region. It is sad that he has died without fulfilling his vision of developing our area. He had planned to build a dormitory for boys and girls at the school. The material is there and as villagers we are challenged to continue with his vision."

Another villager Ms Khezayo Ndlovu said VP Nkomo's death was a severe setback to the development of Tsholotsho.

"He was our child and we are witnesses of the development he brought us," she said.

The former chairman of Landa J. High School, which VP Nkomo built, Mr War Ndlovu said the late Vice President left a lasting legacy for the district.

"We trembled when we were told that Nkomo was no more. He built this school alone for us when the Government had failed to do so for many years," said Ndlovu.

The villagers said VP Nkomo had done a lot in the short period he was granted on earth.

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