He had been shuttling between Harare and South Africa seeking treatment. In November rumour had it that he had died in a Cape Town Hospital.
Zanu (PF) secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, who confirmed his death on Thursday said:”We will miss him as a party. He was instrumental in uniting the people of Zimbabwe.”
Movement for Democratic Change Treasurer, Paul Themba Nyathi, described Nkomo as a true Zimbabwean who believed in his country.
“I have known Nkomo when we were in Zapu, and he acquitted himself very well,” said Nyathi. “May his Soul Rest in Peace,” he said.
The Embassy of the United States of America also expressed its condolences to the family and the people of Zimbabwe on the death of 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.”
A Bulawayo resident, Godwin Phiri, said “the jury is out on the contribution of senior politicians like Nkomo to the development of Matabeleland when compared to their colleagues in Mashonaland.
Nkomo was Speaker of Parliament from 2005 to 2008. He was then appointed to the Senate in 2008 and was Minister of state in the President’s office in 2009.
Nkomo, who had previously served as Minister of Home Affairs, was moved to the position of Minister of Special Affairs in the President’s Office in a cabinet reshuffle on August 25, 2002, before becoming Speaker of Parliament.
Nkomo was widely viewed as a moderate within the Zanu (PF) leadership. He was elected as Vice-President of Zanu (PF) by a party congress on December 12, 2009, succeeding the late Vice President Joseph Msika who had just died.