Zanu PF to rename Cyril Jennings Hall

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has proposed renaming Cyril Jennings Hall in Highfield to Leopold Takawira Hall in memory of the late former Zanu PF vice president and national hero who died in prison in 1970.

Speaking at the memorial service and the laying of plaque for the two national heroes, Leopold Takawira and his wife Sunny Ntombiyalanga in Highfield yesterday, Zanu PF Harare province chairperson Amos Midzi, tabled the request to rename the hall after Takawira.

Among the guests at the ceremony was Zanu PF leadership including Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo, Kumbirai Kangai, Tendai Savanhu, Olivia Muchena and Cephas Msipa.

“We want this hall to be changed from CJ to be called Leopold Takawira,” Midzi said.

“We are going to follow all the proper procedures to ensure that the changeover happens legally as we have no link with Jennings and no one knows him but we are aware of the work done by the late nationalist Takawira.”

Mutasa, who was the guest speaker standing in for President Robert Mugabe who left yesterday for South Africa to attend the African Nations Cup final, rallied behind the proposal.

“I have known Leopold as our leader in 1964 and I was in the youth league,” Mutasa said.

“We used to call him ‘Lion of Chirimhanzu’. We worked together as we followed his political advice which inspired us to keep on fighting even after he was arrested for political reasons and detained at Sikhombela Prison together with other leaders.”

The memorial service was more of a political rally, with many donning Zanu PF regalia, as the butt-wriggling Chimurenga Choir belted out their usual political songs in praise of Zanu PF and Mugabe.

Mutasa also reminded Zanu PF supporters to reclaim the Highfield constituency seat from the MDC in the forthcoming general elections saying it will be a befitting tribute to the heroic deeds of the Takawira’s when they fought for the independence of the country.

“I want the people of Highfield to honour the Takawira’s by voting our candidate of Zanu PF in elections so they can become MP,” Mutasa said. “We do not want sell-outs to be in Parliament. We must support our chairperson Midzi and our candidate Cleveria Chizema to win the elections.”

Takawira died 43 years ago on June 15, in prison detention as result of failure to access medication.

He was suffering from diabetes. His wife Ntombiyalanga passed away in 2010.

They were both laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre — the husband post-humously.

The Takawiras started their political activism in Highfield in the 60’s as they were residents of the high density area.

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