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Zanu-PF, MDC Alliance mourn Chief Maduna

by Staff reporter
15 Feb 2021 at 07:46hrs | Views
Political parties from both sides of the aisle have paid tribute to Chief Vezi Maduna Mafu of Filabusi, Matabeleland South, following his death on Saturday aged 86.

Mafu was in the midst of recovering from a stroke he suffered in 2019, his son said.

The opposition MDC Alliance described the late chief as "our esteemed doyen of traditional leadership and preservation of the culture of unbuntu" and celebrated his efforts towards rural development.

It called on the government to preserve Mafu's legacy.

"As we mourn the passing of Chief Mafu, we cherish his quest to push for the development of SMART Villages whose building blocks are SMART homes," said MDC Alliance secretary for local government Sesel Zvidzai in a statement.

"These are sustainable and modernising homes and villages. Chief Mafu insisted on homes with improved housing, sanitation facilities, accessible water sources, and special and protected areas for grazing of livestock.

"Accordingly, we ask the government to support chiefs of Chief Mafu's ilk if we want to intensively develop the rural areas in the areas of housing, sanitation, natural resource conservation and so that these rural areas can contribute meaningfully to the development of the country," Zvizvai added.

Matabeleland South provincial minister Abednico Ncube, a Zanu-PF official, also expressed grief, telling State media "we have lost a senior leader and are at a loss of words on who we will turn to now that our father has rested."

The Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs (ZCC) also mourned Chief Maduna and described him as "not only an icon in terms of traditional leadership but he was also a liberation war icon who actively participated in the liberation struggle under the Zipra wing; that is how much of a leader he was."

Mafu is famed for writing to the United Nations (UN) secretary-general Antonio Guterres in 2018 asking him to set up a special commission to investigate atrocities committed by the Zanu-PF government in Midlands and Matabeleland during Gukurahundi.

The traditional leader said he had taken the extraordinary step after President Emmerson Mnangagwa ignored his request to address the hot-button issue.

Described by some as one of Zimbabwe's unsung heroes of the independence struggle, Mafu began his political voyage in 1969 during the era of late Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo's National Democratic Party.

In 1976 he was arrested and detained at Gwanda Prison before being transferred to Colleen Bawn Prison where he was kept in solitary confinement.

From Colleen Bawn Prison Mafu was then taken to West Nicholson and later moved to WhaWha where he remained in detention until the 1979 ceasefire.

In 1981 he was elected councilor on a Zapu ticket and became the first chairman of the Insiza Rural District Council.

At the Zapu congress in 1984 the deceased traditional leader was elected to the party's central committee, a position he held until the signing of the Unity Accord with Zanu-PF in 1987.

Burial arrangements are underway.

Source - zimlive