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Mnangagwa mourns Jane Ngwenya

by Staff reporter
07 Aug 2021 at 06:03hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday sent a condolence message to the Ngwenya family following the death of nationalist and freedom fighter Jane Lungile Ngwenya. Mnangagwa said he received the news of the passing away of Ngwenya, one of the country's pioneer female nationalists and liberation fighters, with deep shock and grief.

Ngwenya died at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo on Thursday night at the age of 86. President Mnangagwa said he didn't know that when he visited her at Coronation Cottages Home in Bulawayo about two and a half months ago, it would be the last time he would see her.

The President hailed Ngwenya as a dedicated cadre, leader and stalwart of the liberation movement and "our own liberation struggle".

"What breaks my heart is that her demise came just three days before our nation honoured and celebrated her outstanding contribution to the national cause by conferring the Grand Commander Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award on her; the second highest honour Zimbabwe reserves for her most distinguished sons and daughters. Indeed, she would have been the first living recipient of such an outstanding award," President Mnangagwa said in his condolence message yesterday afternoon.

The President said Ngwenya stood out as a firebrand female cadre who lent militancy to the nationalist movement in its early phase. With other nationalist luminaries, the President said Ngwenya founded and launched the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Zapu after the NDP had been banned.

"It required men and women of exceptional courage and belief to confront the brutal Rhodesian settler system at that time and to keep the spirit of militant nationalism alive," said President Mnangagwa.

He said Ngwenya even sacrificed her marriage for the cause. President Mnangagwa said Ngwenya's fearless personality made her an ideal candidate to lead the Youth Wing of the nationalist movement.

"As a member of the Youth League, I served under her and vividly recall her bold and exceptional leadership in that role. Through her persuasive broadcast messages aired from Zambia, many youths gathered courage to join the armed struggle.

"Never to avoid risks of the struggle, she carries to the grave injuries she sustained in a bomb blast which claimed the life of late national hero Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo on January 22, 1977, in Zambia," President Mnangagwa said.

Ngwenya served as Deputy Minister of Labour, Manpower Planning and Social Welfare, which oversaw the rehabilitation of returnees and refugees from the liberation struggle. The President said Ngwenya leaves a rich and inspiring legacy for the nation and conveyed his deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Ngwenya family for losing a leading guardian and mentor.

He said the family must take comfort from the knowledge that the whole nation joins them in mourning Ngwenya's sad departure.

"On behalf of the Party, Zanu-PF, Government, my family and on my own behalf, I wish to convey my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Ngwenya family for losing a leading guardian and mentor. As they go through their bereavement, may they take comfort from the knowledge that our whole Nation joins them in mourning her sad departure," he added.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu described the late Ngwenya as a revolutionary, who sacrificed her all for what people know as Zimbabwe today. He said Ngwenya, who was his friend, taught him a lot about leadership and sacrifice.

"We have lost a dedicated veteran freedom fighter, who was an inspiration to all of us. She played her part and the least we can do is continue ensuring our people enjoy development in this democracy which she sacrificed a lot for," said Mpofu.

Bulawayo Minister for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Judith Ncube said the country had lost an exemplary leader, who gave her all in fighting for an independent Zimbabwe.

"We have lost a leader who was gifted in leadership and very straightforward. Even in her last days she kept reminding us of the importance of unity as Zimbabweans. She also spoke to us strongly against tribalism and emphasised that we must unite so that we continue building a better Zimbabwe," said Minister Ncube.

"She put Zimbabwe first and was ready to pay the price when she got divorced. During their time, they never worried about position and personal gains; these were secondary. We should take a leaf from her and put Zimbabwe first. If she behaved like how we are doing nowadays, this country was never going to be freed from colonialism and it's a lesson to us all," added Minister Ncube.

She said the country was also looking forward to Monday when Ngwenya and other heroes will be honoured for the role they played in liberating Zimbabwe.

"We are deeply pained that she died before receiving the honour she deserves," Minister Ncube said.

Source - chronicle