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Iconic Chief Vezi Maduna mourned

by Staff reporter
14 Feb 2021 at 09:42hrs | Views
ONE of the longest-serving Chiefs in the country, Chief Vezi Maduna Mafu, who died yesterday has been described as a father figure and exemplary traditional leader who constantly gave guidance to younger chiefs in the country.

Chief Maduna (86) passed on at his Avoca homestead in Filabusi (Insiza), Matabeleland South province. He had been recovering at home from a stroke he suffered in 2019. In an interview with Sunday News, one of Chief Maduna's sons Mr Talent Mafu said they were in the process of informing relatives and the community before they make a decision on burial arrangements.

"As a family we are in pain following the passing on of our father and elder. He has been a pillar of strength to us since we were born, giving us guidance in all that we do. For us to be where we are today, it is honestly because of him. Regarding burial arrangements, nothing concrete has been agreed on, for now we have been informing relatives and the community on the Chief's passing on, after that we will then meet and decide on the burial arrangements," said Mr Mafu.

Chiefs Council of Zimbabwe president Chief Fortune Charumbira described the late Chief Maduna as an icon and an embodiment to traditional leadership who valued culture and would always give guidance on cultural values and norms.

"Chief Maduna was a true culturalist who practiced culture to the deepest of levels, even his people knew that he was an advocate for all cultural norms and values. I remember he had a yearly traditional ceremony where he also invited us as fellow traditional leaders where he would exhibit some of these norms and values. He was not only an icon in terms of traditional leadership but also he was a liberation war icon who actively participated in the liberation struggle under the Zipra wing, that is how much of a leader he was," said Chief Charumbira.

Chiefs Council of Zimbabwe vice-president Chief Mtshane Khumalo said Chief Maduna was a shade to all traditional leaders in the country, who was a wealth of knowledge regarding traditional matters.

"Chief Maduna was one of the few chiefs in the country who had stayed a long time as a traditional leader. He provided a shade to the region and the nation as a whole, now that we have lost that shade, we are honestly at a loss.

One thing about Chief Maduna is that he was always available to give us guidance as younger chiefs, directing us on issues to do with tradition and basic leadership issues," said Chief Mtshane.

Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Abednico Ncube said the province and the nation as a whole was grieving.

"I just received the news on the Chief's passing on and we are really in pain as Chief Maduna was our father and leader. As Matabeleland South we have lost one of senior leaders and are at a loss of words on who will turn to now that our father has rested," said Ncube.

Zanu-PF Insiza district co-ordinating committee chairperson, who is also Insiza South MP, Spare Sithole said they would work with the party's Matabeleland South provincial leadership for the recommendation of a National Hero status for the late Chief Maduna.

"In Chief Maduna we have lost a popular leader, a leader who was always willing to lead by example. His leadership dates back to the liberation struggle where he was very active leading his people in the fight for independence. It is in noting his exemplary leadership that we are in talks with the family and the Zanu-PF Matabeleland South provincial leadership to request that he be given the honour of a national hero because to be honest that is what he deserves as a leader of not only Insiza but the nation as a whole," said Sithole.

Chief Maduna is one of the unsung heroes of the country's liberation struggle having been detained for a number of years for his involvement in the nationalist movement in the 1960s and 1970s. During the Pearce Commission of 1972, which was an attempt by both the British and Ian Smith to legitimise Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence, Chief Maduna led his people in Insiza District to reject the Commission.

His political activities led to the Rhodesian government arresting and detaining him in 1976, where he spent most of his time in solitary confinement and was only released during the ceasefire period. In 1981 he was elected a Zapu councillor and became the first chairman of the Insiza Rural District Council. Chief Maduna was also elected the party's vice-chairman for Matabeleland South Provincial Authority.

In 1984 at-PF-Zapu Congress he was elected into the Central Committee and was to remain a member of the Central Committee until the signing of the Unity Accord between Zanu-PF and-PF-Zapu on 22 December 1987.

After the unity of the two liberation movements, Chief Maduna served the party in various capacities including being a member of the National Assembly. In one of his last interviews with Sunday News Chief Maduna said he was happy with the progress being made by the President Mnangagwa led government to uplift the lives of the people.

"I support the government of President Mnangagwa, the problem is that maybe I am too accommodative, people of different political persuasions visit me here at my home. When they leave they go and make political capital out of meeting me," said Chief Maduna, who had a huge portrait featuring Vice-President Chiwenga and himself flanking President Mnangagwa at his living room.

Chief Maduna is survived by his wife, Mrs Lizzie Maduna Mafu (nee Mpala), 14 children two who are now deceased and 28 grandchildren

Source - sundaynews
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