Disputed Harare Governor Karimanzira Dies

HARARE – One of President Robert Mugabe’s allies and a member of ZANU PF’s inner politburo cabinet, David Karimanzira has died.

Karimanzira, who was governor for Harare province, died Thursday morning at West End Clinic in the capital. He was 64 years old.

"He died this morning, and as a party we have lost a dedicated person," said ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo. He did not disclose further details, including the funeral arrangements or the cause of the death of Karimanzira who, apparently, had been unwell for sometime.

Karimanzira was a former resources facilitator for ZANU-PF during the Geneva, Malta and Lancaster House talks with the then Rhodesia government in the 1970’s.

He was once expelled from the University of Rhodesia (now University of Zimbabwe) in the 1970’s along seven other students for their opposition to white supremacist leader Ian Smith’s government.

Karimanzira will most likely be buried at the National Heroes Acre shrine in Harare where the remains of most other senior ZANU PF leaders are interred.

Meanwhile, in another development, a statement to the media by the Movement for Democratic Change said, "Zanu PF’s exhumations, currently taking place in the Mt Darwin area, represents a stark betrayal of all Zimbabweans; a serious lack of care and concern; and a harsh display of political insincerity, in that for three decades nothing was done to handle this extremely sensitive issue.

Zimbabwe’s liberation war and its aftermath remain deeply etched inside the heart of every citizen. That a single political party would be so brazen to ignore the fate of thousands of our war heroes and heroines; to abandon them – as it turns out — in known mine shafts and in shallow graves; and to grandstand 32 years afterwards about their remains is as regrettable as it is unfortunate.

The MDC, a party that legitimately mirrors Zimbabwe’s national feelings today, welcomes the exhumation, identification and proper documentation of any Zimbabwean whose fate was determined by the liberation struggle – a national project in which we all took part.

For the exercise that is above party and sectional selfishness, a national budget administered by the relevant state institutions, led by the Ministry of Home Affairs, is imperative to cover the necessary costs of tracking down the genealogy and family trees of the victims through forensic science, carbon-dating and indisputable DNA sampling. Such a process would reveal death details and murder methods.

Zimbabweans have endured violence since colonialism and yearn for the day when the truth about the liberation war, Gukurahundi, Operation Murambatsvina, the 2008 atrocities – among others – is brought onto the surface for informed debate and reflection. Without such a concerted, nationally sensitive process, national healing and reconciliation shall be impossible.

The MDC calls on Zanu PF to stop what it is doing and leave it to the nation to work out an appropriate way forward, beyond amateur propaganda antics and political carelessness.

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