Nkomo made the astonishing claims last week after touring the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport whose refurbishment has taken over nine years to complete.
Ndlovu, a respected academic, has failed to win any election since he described Zapu as a dead donkey in the 1980s.
The statement has come back to haunt Ndlovu each time he has tried to seek political office. A similar fate may befall Nkomo judging from the backlash elicited by his statement on the emotive issue of Matabeleland’s marginalisation.
Nkomo has shieded away from standing in elections in the recent past claiming that he was a national figure but indications are that he is under pressure to find a seat in the next polls.
Activists and political parties roundly condemned Nkomo’s utterances saying it showed that Zanu PF was out of touch with issues affecting the region whose development has stalled since President Robert Mugabe’s military campaign, code-named Gukurahundi.
The militant Matabeleland Liberation Front (MLF), which is campaigning for the creation of a separate state in south-western Zimbabwe said it was not surprised by Nkomo’s claims.
“MLF is not surprised by statements by John Nkomo. To start with, Nkomo has never spoken out on our people’s plight since the tragic loss of the Mthwakazi hero, his excellency Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo,” MLF spokesman David Magagula said.
“We note with embarrassing regret that he has eaten fully the soup, bone and marrow of Zanu PF propaganda. He sees nothing wrong done by Mugabe to this region.”
Accusations that the government has been neglecting Matabeleland have mounted over the years.
The sentiments were reflected in last year’s constitution outreach programme where most people demanded the devolution of power to provinces as a way of addressing the problem of marginalisation.
MLF was formed last year and has drawn support from Zimbabweans exiles in South Africa, most of who ran away from the grinding poverty in Matabeleland.
Dumisani Nkomo, a Bulawayo-based analyst said the VP must apologise for his statement or face the wrath of the people.
“Certainly, one would have to come from outer space not to appreciate the fact that the marginalisation of Matabeleland is a practical reality,” Nkomo said.
“It is a monumental scandal that government ministers from outside Matabeleland have seen what so-called leaders from the region itself have failed to realise and aknowledge.”
Nkomo rated the same as governor Cain Mathema
VP John Nkomo has been placed in the same bracket with Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema and Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo who have claimed that the marginalisation of Matabeleland was just a myth.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube described Mathema’s statements as unfortunate coming at a time when companies in Bulawayo were closing down every day.
“We are amazed that despite the undisputable fact that there has been closure of a minimum of 87 companies which has rendered over 2 000 people jobless, Mathema continues to say the closure of these companies is just a fallacy,” MDC provincial spokesman Edwin Ndlovu said.
“Of course we are aware that for Mathema and his party the figure 2 000, of people that have lost their jobs is worthless considering that his party is responsible for the massacre of over 20 000 people from the region for political expediency.”
MDC said Mathema was divorced from reality, “a stranger to Bulawayo and the region, a man blinded by the love of 30 pieces of silver.”