Daily News barred from Tongogara memorial

HARARE - The Daily News was yesterday barred from covering a function at KG VI army barracks in Harare to honour the late guerrilla leader of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (Zanla),  Josiah Magama Tongogara.

A crew from Zimbabwe’s leading daily was denied entrance into the army barracks by soldiers who said they were under strict instructions from their superiors not to let the journalists in.

“You cannot come in because you are the Daily News. There is never a time that you have been allowed in and I don’t think it will be any different today. I would have understood you if you were the Zimbabwe Mail or Herald,” charged one of the soldiers manning the gates.

When the Daily News team insisted on being granted access to the memorial on the grounds that the event was an important State function, as well as the fact that the newspaper and its journalists were duly accredited by the Zimbabwe Media Commission to cover such events, the soldier then called his superiors for guidance.

After a long telephone conversation, the soldier told the crew that the instruction he had been given was that they were to leave immediately.

“We have been told that you are not invited so you can leave now. We have no time to listen to what you are saying. Just go away, possibly as far away as Borrowdale Road and make your phone calls from there,” he charged.

At the memorial service, the KG VI barracks were set to be renamed Tongogara Barracks in honour of the late national hero.

Tongogara was widely expected to become president in 1980, with President Robert Mugabe as Prime Minister.

But no sooner had independence been successfully  negotiated than Tongogara was killed in a car crash that still raises emotions up to this day — with some of his comrades raising suspicions regarding the circumstances surrounding the death.

Prior to the commemoration, family, friends, senior government officials and service chiefs congregated at the National Heroes Acre in Harare for the general’s memorial service.

In the meantime, many critics have accused the ruling party of neglecting the  Tongogara family.

Tongogara’s wife Angeline once approached the then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during the government of national unity, claiming that the government was neglecting her.

In an interview with the media in 2012, Angeline poured her heart out, claiming that she had not even been given the opportunity to view Tongogara’s body in Mozambique, adding that she still had many questions over how her husband died.

 

Comments (6)

Why is Mugabe in a hurry to rename things in honour of fallen foes/friends? Just the other day we were told 4th street Hre is renamed Muzenda Rd, Main st Byo renamed Nkomo St, and now KG6 is now Tongogara. What has he been waiting for and why is everything rushed? On another note, why is this Mugabe guy always out of the country?

Donato - 29 January 2015

@donato: Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Robert Mugabe Universuty of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe Parliamentary Building, Robert Mugabe Harare-Byo Road, Robert Mugabe chino nechino. Pese ipapa Grace Mugabe will be invited kumabiko ekupemberera regardless of how hungry people are or who is in power.

Selele - 29 January 2015

ZvaTongogara zvinonetsa. Why did he kill Chitepo? Why did he let young people killed just because they had grievences? Why is it that he did not want to be opposed by anyone? All those girlfriends...was it love or abuse? Was he really a good muntu??

selele - 29 January 2015

No wonder you were barred for how can you LIE that "Tongogara was widely expected to become president in 1980, with President Robert Mugabe as Prime Minister."?

Ban'a - 29 January 2015

Oppah tiudze zvakaitika kuna cde tongo ndiwe waive naye paakaita accident

Chitepo - 29 January 2015

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