Zanu PF must use celebrations to clear its name

HARARE - Zanu PF celebrates 50 years this year with so many questions hanging over the deaths of some of its iconic members.

Top of the pile is the death of former Zanla commander Josiah Magama Tongogara, whose widow recently cast doubts on what supposedly led to her husband’s death.

The death of the decorated war hero, General Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mujuru, sparked outrage and debates.

It is difficult to believe he died a natural death despite the candle light version that police want Zimbabweans to believe.

If anything, his family and lawyer suspect foul play. They are, although very few, those who continue to doubt the way Hebert Chitepo died.

We implore Zanu PF to seize the golden jubilee celebrations to put to bed for once doubts surrounding liberation stalwarts deaths such as Tongogara.

It is an opportunity to correct the history of the liberation struggle if there are loopholes in what we have so far been told.

Angeline, Tongogara’s widow and his children, do not believe that he died in a car accident on December 26, 1979.

They have their reasons, among them, the fact that the widow was not allowed to view the body of her husband and was sedated during the proceedings.

Speaking at the official launch of his memoirs, A Lifetime of Struggle, the late Edgar Tekere said President Robert Mugabe, contrary to widely held belief that he ordered Tongogara assassinated, had nothing to do with the death of one of Zimbabwe’s most revered freedom fighters.

“I have heard it whispered that Mugabe killed Tongogara. That is not true. Mugabe did not doctor anything in Comrade Tongogara’s death.

“He died in an accident, simple! When Tongogara died, he was in the middle of disobeying orders from our host Samora Machel, who warned that it was dangerous driving at night up north Maputo towards the rural areas.

“In fact, Machel warned us after Tongogara had earlier been involved in an accident when his VW Beatle rammed into a buffalo. Tongogara was the only survivor. Five other people died in the first crash.

“This is what happened to Tongogara. He was disobeying orders from Machel when he was involved in an accident. Mugabe is very clean on Tongogara. This is the only time I speak good about Mugabe,” Tekere said in 2007.

Taking his version, the widow’s revelations and Zanu PF’s official version, we are confronted with so many questions that do not have answers.

This is why it is so important for Zanu PF to use these 50 years’ celebrations to put the matter to rest once and for all. - Staff Writer

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