John Landa Nkomo


Date of Birth: 22/08/1934
Place of Birth: Tsholotsho
Died: 17/01/2013

Ethnicity: Ndebele

Career: member African National Congress, 1958-59; joined 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 Geneva Conference as part of Joshua Nkomo’s delegation, 1976;  seriously injured in parcel bomb 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 up till his death in January 2013.

Commentary:  Prior to his appointment as Vice-President, following the death of John Msika in August 2009, Nkomo had sunk into political oblivion following the defeat of ZANU-PF in the 2008 polls which saw him being demoted from the powerful post of Speaker of Parliament to Minister of National Healing, a mediocre post he shared with two others, Sekai Holland of MDC-T and Gibson Sibanda of MDC-M. While the death of Msika propelled him to the top, this only fulfilled a personal ambition because he still had no political constituency of his own. Nkomo entirely relied on the benevolence of President Robert Mugabe. The1987 unity accord between ZANU-PF and ZAPU which stipulates that one of the Vice-Presidents has to come from the former ZAPU has also come in handy.

Once a very popular politician in his home constituency of Tsholotsho, Nkomo's political star was on the wane from 2000 when he had no constituency and relied on being appointed into Parliament by Mugabe. Then observers said that though he had displayed presidential ambitions and announced in 2006 that he intended to contest for the post, his ascent to the post of Vice-President was likely to be the highest he could ever achieve, since in Zimbabwe being elected to number two does not necessarily mean you can rise to number one. They said that, with his ailing health, the post of Vice-President might be the zenith of his political career. They were right.

Displaying 1-10 out of 65 results.

Vol 54 N0 23


ZANU-PF power struggles resume

Those chairmen will eventually be key figures in the non-elective ZANU-PF conference on 12-13 December, when President Mugabe will probably announce a reshuffled four-person Presidium; it was delayed since the death of Vice-President John Nkomo earlier this year...

Vol 54 N0 3


I chose the deputy

Vice-President John Landa Nkomo died after a long illness on 17 January, aged 79...

Vol 53 N0 22


Three men in a boat

This is highlighted by the unseemly jockeying to succeed the ailing Vice-President, John Nkomo...

Vol 53 N0 11


Muscling out Mugabe

As a sop to his ego, the Praesidium (Mugabe, National Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and Vice-Presidents Mujuru and John Nkomo) has expanded to include him as Secretary of Administration...

Nonetheless, including urban Bulawayo, there is forceful competition for second prize between Vice-President John Nkomo, Simon Khaya Moyo (National Chairman) and Obert Mpofu, the extremely wealthy Mines Minister...

Vol 53 N0 6


Constitutional reform blow

Matebeleland is shaping up for a battle between Simon Khaya Moyo and Mines Minister Obert Mpofu to succeed Vice-President John Nkomo, who was too ill to attend Mugabe’s 88th birthday bash...

Vol 52 N0 17


The kingmaker general dies at Alamein

The Ndebele Vice-President, John Nkomo, could not be at the funeral because he is in South Africa for treatment of his poor health...

Vol 51 N0 18


Ghostly presences

In Matebeleland North, Vice-President John Nkomo is trying to face down Professor Jonathan Moyo and Obert Moses Mpofu, the Mines Minister (and, since the discovery of the Marange diamonds, reputedly the richest man in Matebeleland), for control of the provincial party...

In Bulawayo, John Nkomo wants to block nominations to key posts by the new National Chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo...

Vol 51 N0 15


Restless spirits

Vice-President John Nkomo (no relation) is competing with the mega-rich Obert Mpofu, Minister of Mines, for the provincial chairmanship...

Vol 51 N0 4


Petrified Politburos

Other Praesidium members, led by John Nkomo, who regards Moyo as a cheeky mafikozolo (one who arrived yesterday) who does not respect his elders, were unconvinced...

Vol 51 N0 1


Three men in a boat

John Nkomo and Simon Khaya Moyo are in the Praesidium for window-dressing, to preserve the 1987 unity accord between ZANU and the mainly Ndebele Zimbabwe African People’s Union...

Displaying 1-10 out of 65 results.