HUMAN rights activist and Habakkuk Trust chief executive Dumisani Nyongolo Nkomo, launched his new book, No Holds Barred, on Friday night at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Museum.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Nkomo shared his experiences with the police who he said were not keen to give the launch greenlight and said the book was simply about exchanging ideas.
He said there was nothing political about it: “It’s not about Zanu PF or MDC and this country does not belong to any of those. It belongs to God and Zimbabweans. So I was just wondering about an innocent book, why was I being asked so many questions (by the police)? This book is about the exchange of ideas. Let’s exchange ideas. This country will not develop unless ideas are exchanged,” he said.
Nkomo said the book covers a swathe of issues including citizen participation, elections, service delivery, the revival of Bulawayo, devolution and local governance.
“The issue of local governance and devolution; there’s a lot of talk about devolution and somebody said devolution is like a tikoloshi. Everybody talks about it, but nobody has ever seen it. So we should actually describe what will it look like, not what it does not look like,” he said.
Nkomo said the book also had a chapter dedicated to the country’s heroes and the need for debate around the definition of a hero.
“The other chapter looks at service delivery in the Zimbabwean context and also a chapter on Bulawayo. It takes a short snap of Bulawayo (of) 30 to 40 years down the line, what should Bulawayo look like and so on. Lastly, it looks at African problems; we are rich, but poor,” he said.
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission commissioner Leslie Ncube said Nkomo had contributed to the field of knowledge, something which has been lacking in the region.
“We have to contribute significantly in terms of documentation. We acknowledge, as a commission, and we have engaged with you on several structural issues that cut across for peace building,” Ncube said.
Acting mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube said Nkomo had taken a step of courage to publish the book.
“I have been following some of his writings published by reputable media institutions. I can say his articles are quite intriguing and absorbing,” he said.
“I believe that the thematic approaches outlined in this book add value towards the attainment of a better Bulawayo.”
The launch attracted a multi-racial crowd that included Chief Mathema, David Coltart, Nichola Watson (MDC MP), Thandiwe Nkomo, councillor Silas Chigora, Bulawayo engineer Simela Dube and National Gallery of Zimbabwe (Bulawayo) director Butholezwe Nyathi.