Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Masamvu succumbed to a disease he feared most

13 Feb 2021 at 10:30hrs | Views
RESIDENTS of the farming town of Marondera, about 74km east of Harare last week woke up to the sad news of the passing on of renowned businessman and politician Luke Masamvu.

The late former Mutasa North legislator (Zanu-PF) owned a supermarket, perhaps the cheapest at the heart of Marondera.

He was a popular figure to many, not because of the supermarket, but his big family, with all the till operators in the supermarket being his wives.

Masamvu's lifestyle ignited debate on how a man of his age could manage and sire 70 children.

Despite supermarkets being allowed to operate during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, Masamvu initially closed his for fear of exposing his family to the respiratory disease, but later took a gamble, which eventually claimed his life.

"I am not going to open my supermarket, let those who want to open do so," he said then.

"This disease is dangerous. As you know, my wives and the members of my family are the workers in this business. I do not want them to contract the disease because once one gets it, the whole family is affected.

"So you see my brother, I have tangible reasons why my shops remain closed," he said before bursting into his trademark sarcastic laughter.

Like any other businessman, Masamvu wanted his supermarket to open, but as a caring husband and father, he wanted to protect his family.

After taking the sacrificial decision to close the shop and lose out on profits, there was no joy for the Masamvu family as COVID-19 affected them after he made a U-turn and opened his shops.

"The tide is now low. We have now opened and we will be cautious," he said after resumption of operations.

This is the sad tale of the jovial politician, whose remains were recently interred at his rural home in Nyanga with full military honours after being declared provincial hero.

His burial - although it was a COVID-19 death, defied all odds as it was attended by his family members, friends, associates and government officials.

A number of Marondera residents drove all the way to Manicaland to bid farewell to one of their own.

What he did after contracting COVID-19

Mourners heard during his funeral wake that after testing positive for the coronavirus, Masamvu left home without notifying his family of where he was headed.

He only confided in his nephew and namesake, Phebion, whom he told that he was in isolation somewhere in Harare.

The businessman did not want his family to visit him, hence the decision to hide his whereabouts during isolation. Masamvu and his nephew Phebion were inseparable.

He was afraid of the respiratory disease, unfortunately his fear did not save him.

Interesting facts about Masamvu

The late Masamvu was not ashamed of his polygamous marriage. He took care of his family which lived at the same mansion in the affluent suburb of Winston Park in Marondera.
Two years ago, NewsDay Weekender met Masamvu in one of the internet cafés in central Marondera, where he was printing a letter.

In the letter, Masamvu was pleading with authorities at a local school where his children were enrolled to grant him a fees discount on account of their large number.

"My brother, this school (name withheld) must give me a discount, I am the biggest customer there," he said with a chuckle.

He had around eight children enrolled at the school.

He vowed to sire children till his last day and he indeed achieved that. During his lifetime, his wives gave birth to 79 children but 22 of them are now late.

He is survived by 57 children, most of whom studied at various local universities. One of his sons, Mike, broke the national record in 2020 after he scored 19As in the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) "O" Level examinations.

Masamvu threw a lavish party outside Marondera, which was attended by Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri and Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro, to celebrate the whizkid's achievement.

During his stint as an MP, the late politician would take with him two of his wives to Harare during sittings of the National Assembly and booked them at hotels. His wives would accompany him to Harare on a rotational basis.

Masamvu would from time-to-time take his young children to fastfood outlets in Marondera, for bonding purposes.

A top clothing outlet located near his supermarket would contact him first each time it brought in new clothes so that his wives could choose what they wanted.

The late Masamvu's father Moses, who died aged 60 in 1989, had 11 wives and 40 children, while his brother John has over 120 children from over 25 wives.

Source - newsday
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.