Learnmore Jongwe: Six Years Gone Now but Not a Forgotten Hero!
On 23rd October 2002 the Zimbabwean nation woke up to the shocking news of the passing away of the charismatic legislator, Learnmore Jongwe.
According to the government officials, Jongwe was said to have committed suicide overnight by a drug overdose of malaria tablets. However, according to many observers, the official version of his death could never be taken at its face value.
Calls were immediately made for an independent inquiry to verify the actual cause of his death. Sadly though, it is now six years later and the Zanu-PF led government has never enabled any kind of inquiry to be undertaken to lay to rest any lingering doubts and suspicion pertaining to the actual cause of his untimely death.
As such as the nation marks the 6th anniversary of his passing away, it is perhaps trite and necessary to reiterate the call once again for an independent commission of inquiry to be set up to address adequately all the persisting theories surrounding his death.
It is also necessary to once again re-assert the fact that the allegation of violent murder of his own beautiful wife, Rutendo; that the late legislator was facing at that time represented a very tragic end of his illustrious public service to his nation.
The tragic events of the last months of his life must not be allowed to overshadow the greater part of his life. It must be never forgotten that he rose from the obscurity of a disadvantaged peasant childhood to international reputation by the sheer strength of his determination and raw ambition.
At the time of his death, Jongwe had become such a huge source of inspiration to millions of Zimbabweans especially the nation¢s majority youth population. A lot of young people admired his successful political career and aspired to be like him. He was such an exemplary role model.
Jongwe first emerged into national limelight when he was elected as the President of the University of Zimbabwe Students Union in October 1996. Then a few months later his credentials as an outstanding leader of his generation were further consolidated when he was elected as the President of the revived Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) in March 1997.
In May 1999, Jongwe duly completed his Bachelor of Laws degree and proceeded into private legal practice with a leading law firm in Harare.
But it was in his role as one of the founding leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that he ensured his place among the best young leaders Zimbabwe has ever produced.
Jongwe was initially elected as the national Youth Chairperson of the MDC before being elevated to the post of national Secretary for Information and Publicity at the inaugural congress of the MDC.
Immediately afterwards his key role in the national discourse was once again cemented, when he was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Kuwadzana constituency in Harare.
Jongwe served his nation with so much dedication and distinction. There is no doubt that had it not been for the family tragedy that stopped him on his tracks, he could ended up as one of the greatest leaders that Zimbabwe has ever produced.
Now with the prospects of a new government in terms of the 15th September 2008 agreement, Jongwe could have been in line for his first appointment into the national Cabinet as a Minister from the MDC.
Sadly this was not to be.
Today Jongwe will continue to rest, assured that his contribution to the development of his country will not be forgotten.
Last week some former student leaders met in Harare and agreed to continue his legacy for the benefit of the national posterity especially from the student and youth perspective.
A new trust will be registered soon in Zimbabwe that will seek to promote his lasting legacy to be known as the Learnmore Jongwe Foundation.